Thai Peppercorn Chicken with Hot and Sweet Dipping Sauce, and Cucumber and Peanut Salad

From issue #2.
Thai Peppercorn Chicken with Hot and Sweet Dipping Sauce, and Cucumber and Peanut Salad

Serves: 6


4 teaspoons black peppercorns
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1⁄2 cup chopped coriander roots and stems
8 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons peanut oil
1 chicken – cut Asian style with a cleaver into 16 pieces

Hot & Sweet Dipping Sauce
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
11⁄2 teaspoons dried chilli flakes

1 large telegraph cucumber
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 large mild red chillies, finely chopped
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 cup raw peanuts, roasted and roughly chopped
1⁄4 cup packed roughly chopped coriander leaves


Toast and grind all the spices. Place the coriander, garlic and ginger in the food processor and blend to a paste. Add the spices, fish sauce, salt and peanut oil and blend again. Scrape into a large bowl.

Toss the chicken pieces in the paste and set aside, covered, at room temperature for 1⁄2 an hour or refrigerated for several hours.

Sauce: Place the vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Stir until dissolved then simmer for 5 minutes. Place the garlic and salt in a mortar and mash to a paste. Add the chilli flakes and blend well. Pour the vinegar mixture into a bowl and stir in the garlic paste. Cool.

Salad: Peel the cucumber, leaving a few thin strips of skin on for colour. Cut in half lengthways and scrape out the seeds. Cut into 5cm lengths, and then cut each piece into batons. Mix the vinegar and sugar in a bowl, add the cucumber and mix well.

Heat the peanut oil in a small skillet. Add the chilli and cook 20-30 seconds. Pour this over the cucumber, sprinkle over the salt and mix well. Toss through the peanuts and coriander and transfer to a serving bowl.

To serve: Cook the chicken on the barbecue at medium heat for approximately 20-25 minutes or start on a grill plate and finish in the oven – 12-15 minutes at 180ºC. In either case, cook until the juices run clear.

Rest for 5 minutes, place on a platter and serve with the sauce, the cucumber salad and sticky rice (see recipe page 32). Serves 6