2 boneless chicken breasts
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon soy sauce (2 more tablespoons)
2 stalks fresh lemongrass (or 2 teaspoons dried or 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest or 1 teaspoon lemon juice.)
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons ginger
1/2 tablespoon onion salt
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 cup rice
2 cups water
Cut the chicken breasts into strips 1/2-inch wide and 2-inches long. Mince garlic cloves. Cut off the root end of the lemongrass stalk and strip off outside leaves. Mince inside core. (Or use dried lemongrass, or grated lemon zest, or lemon juice. Sometimes fresh lemongrass is as easy to get as Icelandic habañero peppers. Just do your best. I feel your spicing pain.)
Combine honey and soy sauce in mixing bowl. Thoroughly coat the chicken strips in this mixture.
Heat vegetable oil in wok or no-stick frying pan. Add chicken strips, garlic, lemongrass, onion salt, lime juice, soy sauce, and rice vinegar. Cook on medium high until chicken turns white. Stir frequently. Add more soy sauce if too sweet and more honey if not sweet enough.
You really should have a supply of fresh onions around the kitchen. At the time of writing this recipe my onions had gone bad, surly even, and my wife rightfully pointed out I was crazy to think she’d be going to the store when she had the kids’ baseball uniforms to clean. Hence, the onion salt. Life is like that.
Cook rice according to instructions shown on bag.
Serve on lovingly cooked rice. (Your guests will sense the love that went into the rice and the whole dish and gaze upon you with undisguised affection. And if they complain about the freshness of the lemongrass or its absence, send them to Iceland. If you can place them in the path of a lava flow, even better.)
1) Yes, Iceland has volcanoes.
2) It also produces bananas.
3) Icelandic farmers have burned bananas on at least one occasion to drive up prices.
4) Cambodia produces bananas as well.
5) I first had this dish in Nantes, France, the hometown of the great novelist Jules Verne.
6) Iceland and Cambodia have never gone to war with each other.
7) Probably because they both grow bananas and understand each other on a deep level.
8) Germany and France have been pretty much free of banana plantations. But they fought each other three times from 1870 to 1945. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
9) Bananas were also a favored prop during the heyday of the silent-film era. The world was at peace then. When bananas disappeared from cinema the world went to war.
10) Besides ending war, the banana’s potassium helps boost bone mass.
11) So, write your Congressman and ask him to sponsor banana plantations all across America and indeed the world.
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.