Vietnamese Chicken With Lime Leaf Butter
Fresh lime leaves can be a little tricky to find, so substitute with a handful of coriander if you struggle to track them down.
- 700g chicken thigh fillets
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tsp soft brown sugar
- 1 banana shallot, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2–3 bird’s eye chillies, chopped
- 1/2 tsp Chinese five-spice
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- For the lime leaf butter
- 75g unsalted butter, softened
- 6 fresh lime leaves, finely chopped
- a good pinch of sea salt flakes
- To serve
- 6 mini rolls, or 1 large loaf, sliced
- a handful of soft lettuce leaves
- 1 slightly underripe mango, sliced
- a little extra chopped chilli, to garnish
- Slash the chicken fillets deeply but not all the way through a few times (this will help the marinade to penetrate). Transfer to a bowl and add the vegetable oil, lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, shallot, garlic, chillies and five-spice. Season with salt and pepper and stir well until the chicken is evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate for one to two hours.
- While the chicken is marinating, make the lime leaf butter by mashing together the softened butter, lime leaves and sea salt flakes in a bowl. Set aside. When you are ready to cook, fire up the barbecue ready for direct and indirect cooking. Arrange the fillets on the grill bars, away from the fire so they cook indirectly. Cook for about 20 minutes with the lid down, turning and rotating the fillets a few times so they cook evenly and brushing with the leftover marinade as you go. Use a knife to cut one open at the thickest part to check it is cooked through. Using a digital probe thermometer, the internal temperature should be 74C/165F. Once the chicken is cooked, pile it up on one side of the grill, away from the fire, and rest the rolls onto the grill bars to warm through for a couple of minutes.
Foolproof BBQ by Genevieve Taylor (Quadrille, £12.99) Photography ©Jason Ingram