I’ve got you deep in the heart of me
So deep in my heart that you’re really a part of me
I’ve got you under my skin
This sounds like a strange way to sing one’s way into a story. Go with it. You remember the standard, written by Cole Porter, made famous by Old Blue Eyes. Now sing along…
I’d tried so not to give in
I said to myself, “This affair never will go so well”
But why should I try to resist when, baby, I know so well
I’ve got you under my skin
I found myself humming this to myself as I prepared Vietnamese Roast Chicken with Lemongrass. I will get to why the tune was in my head.
Here’s what you will need
- A good free range chicken (Don’t start me about quality ingredients, particularly chicken.)
- 3 stalks of lemongrass
- 6 garlic cloves
- 4 shallots
- 2 seeded red peppers
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
I divert from the recipe a little here (for convenience) Peel the outer leaves and slice the lemongrass. Roughly chop the chili, shallots, and garlic.
Put it in a blender and whizz it to a paste. Add the sugar, fish sauce and salt. Whizz to mix.
Wash and pat dry the chicken.
Now the awful truth of the song. push your fingers under the skin of the chicken to loosen it from the breast (white meat to the modest amongst you) and the legs. Then scoop up half of the mixture and rub it into the flesh under the skin.
I found that humming along stopped me thinking about what I was doing. Rub the remaining mixture over the outside and inside the cavity of the bird. Tie it up and roast it. 220c for 15 minutes and 190c for another hour or so. Let it stand for 10 minutes.
Then carve it and serve it
Serve with Nuoc Cham.
For this you will need
- 2 small garlic cloves crushed
- 1 small red chili deseeded
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons of lime juice
- 4 tablespoons of fish sauce
Stick these in a blender and blend until the sugar has dissolved. I did not mince my chili enough so bits of it floated. Despite this faux pas, it tasted truly wonderful.
Carve the chicken and serve it with the Nuoc Cham and Thai fragrant rice. I got the recipe from a truly awesome book, in which there is not one single poor recipe.
Last but not least – the drink.
Oaked Chardonnay is sooo unfashionable at present that it is not easy to get a decent Chardonnay in these parts. It’s funny the fashion in wine. If it tastes good, it tastes good. If it goes well with a dish it goes well with a dish. Fashion should not dictate what goes with what. This went perfectly with the heady chicken.
Now, sing for your supper.
“Don’t you know, little fool, you never can win?
Why not use your mentality, step up, wake up to reality”
But each time I do just the thought of you makes me stop
Just before I begin ’cause I’ve got you under my skin
Yes, I’ve got you under my skin…