Food and Wine showcased three recipes from Naomi Duguid, a Canadian food writer who came out with a new book of Asian recipes. I usually am very skeptical of cookbooks written by people who are not from the region of cooking they are writing about. A Canadian writing about Asian food? I definitely had my doubts, but one of the recipes, the Thai chicken with Hot-Sour-Salty-Sweet Sauce, was the cover recipe, and man did it look tasty.

The other two recipes looked very good as well, so I decided to try all three for dinner.

To make the chicken, whole chicken legs are skinned and additional fat removed. The legs are marinated in a mix of cilantro, Asian fish sauce, and black pepper, chilled in the fridge for 4 hours. If you don’t have time, you can marinate the chicken legs at room temperature for 30 minutes.

After the chicken finishes marinating, it’s seared on a hot pan until nicely browned, about 6 minutes per side. The recipe called for the chicken to be grilled, but I didn’t feel like setting up my Webber charcoal grill for 12 minutes of grilling, and I felt pan roasting worked out pretty well.

The pan is then placed in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked. While the chicken is cooking, the dipping sauce is made by combining tamarind concentrate, sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, garlic, and cilantro.

After the chicken was done cooking, I spooned a couple table spoonful of the dipping sauce over the chicken, and served the chicken with the extra dipping sauce on the side.

To make the eggplants, a whole Chinese eggplant is roasted in a 450 F oven until very soft and charred on the outside.

After the eggplant cools, the flesh is scooped out, and an egg is beaten into the eggplant flesh.

To cook the dish, some chopped shallots and dried chile pepper are cooked over medium high heat until fragrant.

The eggplant mixture is stirred into the pan and cooked for about a minute, until smooth.

The dish is finished off with some chopped mint and cilantro.

To make the red lentils, or masur dal, the lentils and water are brought to a boil, tumeric is added and the lentil is simmered at low heat until they break down. You can skim the foam that forms on the surface of the water as it cooks.

The dal is set aside until ready to use. While the lentil cooks, coriander, fennel seeds, fresh green chile, and mustard seeds are cooked until fragrant in a large pan with some oil.

Then chopped ginger and sliced onions are added to the pan and cooked over low heat until soft.

The asparagus are cut into 1 inch lengths and are added to the pan and cooked until crisp tender.

The cooked dal is added to the pan along with some tamarind concentrate and brought to a simmer. The dal is seasoned to taste with salt and pepper and served.

At the end of each recipe, there was also a listing of nutritional information, and all three recipes looked extremely healthy! Each serving of the chicken was only 177 calories, and my boyfriend declared it as his new favourite chicken recipe.

Thai chicken with Hot-Sour-Salty-Sweet Sauce Recipe:
Silky Burmese-Style Eggplant Recipe:
Red Lentil Dal with Tamarind and Asparagus Recipe: