Grilled Chicken and Avo­cado Banh Mi


SAVEUR - - Range -

Ac­tive: 35 min. • To­tal: 1 hr. 15 min.

Peo­ple in Viet­nam of­ten blend avo­cado and sweet­ened con­densed milk for smooth­ies, but the fruit is also ter­rific as a rich, fatty ac­ces­sory in banh mi (the Viet­namese word for avo­cado is trai bo, “but­ter fruit”). You’ll see it of­ten with grilled chicken and mint—though you can also use leftover roast chicken—and ei­ther chile sauce or fresh chile slices.

FOR THE CHICKEN: 3 Tbsp. (1 oz.) coarsely chopped shal­lot or yel­low onion 2 Tbsp. canola oil 1 Tbsp. Viet­namese fish sauce 1 large gar­lic clove, coarsely chopped (½ tsp.) ¾ tsp. sugar ½ tsp. kosher salt, plus more as needed ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pep­per, plus more as needed 1½ lb. bone­less, skin­less chicken thighs, ex­cess fat trimmed FOR THE SAND­WICHES: 6 nine-inch hero rolls, split length­wise, con­nected on one side like a hinge 3 medium firm-ripe av­o­ca­dos, pit­ted and thinly sliced 24 thin slices medium-hot chile, such as jalapeño or Fresno 1½ cups (½ batch) Any Day Viet Pickle (p. 47), drained 1½ cups torn mint leaves

1 Make the chicken: In the bowl of a small food pro­ces­sor, add the shal­lot or onion, oil, fish sauce, gar­lic, sugar, salt, and black pep­per; process un­til smooth, paus­ing to scrape down the sides as needed. Trans­fer to a medium bowl, add the chicken, and toss well to coat. Cover and let mar­i­nate at room tem­per­a­ture for 30 min­utes, or re­frig­er­ate for up to 1 day.

2 About 25 min­utes be­fore serv­ing the sand­wiches, grill the chicken: Pre­heat a grill to medium heat, or a grill pan to medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, turn­ing sev­eral times with tongs, un­til the meat is evenly charred and cooked through, 15–18 min­utes.

3 Re­move the chicken and let cool for 10 min­utes, then slice thinly against the grain. Trans­fer to a clean bowl along with any juices.

4 Make the sand­wiches: Di­vide the avo­cado slices among the rolls, press­ing them gen­tly onto one of the cut sides with the back of a spoon so they ad­here to the bread. Sea­son with kosher salt and black pep­per, then add ½ cup of chicken to each sand­wich. Di­vide the chile slices, the Any Day Viet Pick­les, and the mint leaves among the sand­wiches, then serve im­me­di­ately.


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