Grilling season never ends in south Louisiana. Spring’s increasing temperatures create a sweet spot for outdoor cooking; warm enough for shorts, but not so hot as to require an icepack to tend the grill.
For weeknight grilled suppers, chicken is my standby. I reach for boneless, skinless thighs more often than not, as they’re inexpensive, succulent, quick-cooking, and juicy enough to hold up to reheating. I usually give the thighs a quick dip in a Vietnamese-style marinade derived from Andrea Nguyen’s Into the Vietnamese Kitchen ( “Ga Nuong”, p. 81). It’s the essence of simplicity, but it adds up to huge, distinctive, delicious flavor. Go ahead and cook the entire package; the leftovers are just as tasty several days later.
Simply combine 1/4 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp ground black pepper, 1 T fish sauce, 1 T fresh lime juice, and 2 T oil in a bowl and add the chicken thighs, stirring to coat evenly. Marinate for 30 minutes at room temp or up to 2 hours refrigerated. Grill over high heat for 10-12 minutes, turning halfway through. Serve sliced into thin strips in lettuce wraps with rice-vinegar sprinkled cucumbers and carrots, or stuffed into a baguette, or scattered over cooked rice. Chopped fine, the ga nuong also makes an excellent chicken salad.