Filipino Lemongrass Chicken with Pickled Slaw

Serves 4-6
Thomas Sixsmith
Pairs well with:
Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley

Cakebread Cellars resident chef Thomas Sixsmith presents us with this wonderful summertime chicken dish that pairs so well with our Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc.


1 c. vegetable oil
¼ c. annatto seeds*
3 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
1 dried ancho chile, crushed, steamed and seeded

1 (3 ½ lbs.) chicken, quartered, bone in
2 T. kosher salt
1 stalk lemongrass
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ginger, minced
4 T. lime juice
2 T. red wine vinegar
¼ tsp. fresh ground black pepper

1 cucumber, seeded and julienned
3 carrots, julienned
1 medium size daikon radish, julienned
1 ½ tsp. salt
½ c. rice vinegar
3 T. sugar


Warm the vegetable oil in a small saucepan over medium high heat with the annatto seeds, garlic, bay leaf and ancho chile. When it begins to bubble, turn off the heat and allow the mixture to steep for at least 45 minutes. Strain the oil through a fine mesh strainer and let cool. Store in an air-tight container. The annatto oil can be kept in the refrigerator for three weeks. You can use the oil as you would any other oil. Try it on favorite dishes.

In a large mixing bowl, season the chicken with salt and let sit for 30 minutes. Combine the next six ingredients and ¼ of the annatto oil in another bowl. Add the chicken and toss to coat evenly. Cover and marinate for 2 hours or preferably overnight in the refrigerator.

Remove chicken from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature. Transfer the chicken to a plate and brush both sides with vegetable oil. Grill over a medium hot grill for approximately 20-25 minutes, turning and basting occasionally with the remaining marinade. Serve with a side of the pickled slaw.

*Annatto seeds can be commonly be found in grocery stores with a large selection of Latino ingredients.

Pickled Slaw:

For the pickled slaw, place the cucumber, carrot, daikon in a strainer set over the sink and toss with salt, and allow to sit for 20 minutes. Squeeze as much moisture out of mixture as you can. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the rice vinegar, sugar and toss to combine.

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