So I got an announcement! I’m moving to LA next week! This has been a long time coming. I was born and raised in LA, and it’s been over 10 years!!! since I’ve been back. I am seriously so stoked to be heading back to my hometown. But before I move, I will be taking on the unenviable task of packing up my apartment. This means I will be trying to empty out my fridge in the upcoming week. The next few recipes I will be posting will be me trying to use up everything I got in there. I’m going to call it Becca’s Fridge Clean Out series. The first recipe in that series is this Vietnamese lemongrass chicken. It is seriously an amazing meal made for weeknight dinners.
Ingredients, Substitutions & Adjustments
- Chicken thighs – You can use any cut of chicken for this recipe. I chose to use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs because I love how juicy and flavorful they are. If you do choose to use different cuts, make sure to adjust your cooking time accordingly. Different parts of the chicken cook differently.
- Lemongrass – This is the main flavor component of this dish. It has a light, lemon-y like flavor that works really well with meats. There isn’t a substitute for lemongrass. If you can’t find lemongrass, use a tablespoon of lime as a substitute.
- Fish sauce, oyster sauce & soy sauce – These 3 sauces add different variations of umami and salty flavors to the chicken. My preferred fish sauce brands are Three Crabs or Red Boat. My preferred soy sauce brand is Kikkoman. Use tamari as a substitute for soy sauce if you want to make this dish gluten free. My preferred oyster sauce brand is Lee Kum Kee.
- Garlic & shallot – Add more flavor to the chicken.
- Honey & brown sugar – Adds different variations of sweetness to the dish.
- Vegetable oil – Vegetable ensures the chicken doesn’t stick to the sheet pan. Any kind of neutral oil works for this recipe.
Making my Vietnamese lemongrass chicken
First marinate your chicken thighs. Add all the ingredients for the marinade into a bowl. Mix and add the chicken thighs. Make sure the chicken is coated in the marinade. Marinate for 3 hours or overnight. I would highly recommend marinating overnight for the best flavor.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Next sear your chicken. Heat some oil in a pan over medium high heat. Sear chicken thighs, skin side down, for 1-2 minutes. Place chicken thighs on a baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Let chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with rice, fresh vegetables, and a fried egg.
Tips on how to make the perfect Vietnamese lemongrass chicken
Adjust the cook time accordingly when using different cuts of chicken – You can use any cut of chicken for this recipe, but they will cook differently depending on thickness and if they included bones. For example, I used bone in chicken thighs which cook for 30-35 minutes in the oven. However, boneless chicken thighs will cook for 20-22 minutes. Adjust the cook time accordingly when using different cuts of chicken.
Sear the chicken skin to trap in flavor and keep it crispy – This is a cool tip I learned from watching Gordon Ramsey cook. He always says “no color, no flavor”.
Do not cut into the chicken immediately after cooking – If you cut into chicken or any meat right after you cook it, its juices will spill out. Letting it rest will allow the juices to redistribute into the meat, creating for a juicy, yummy texture.
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Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken
- Combine all the ingredients for the marinade into a bowl (garlic through brown sugar). Mix and add the chicken. Make sure the chicken is coated in the marinade. Let it marinate in the fridge for 3 hours or overnight. I would highly recommend overnight for the best flavor.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Next sear the chicken skin to ensure it’s nice and crispy. Heat some oil over medium high heat. Sear the chicken, skin side down, for 1-2 minutes until brown.
- After searing, place the chicken on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
- Let it rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with rice, fresh vegetables, and a fried egg.