Thursday, May 16, 2013

PAST RECIPE: Lemongrass Chicken Crepe

© Constantine William Spyrou

A lot of the past recipes I post come from when I took a culinary class in high school. I learned a lot about cooking from that class and it's really where my foundation came from and how I was able to turn a love for food into real cooking. I've watched shows like Iron Chef, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Hell's Kitchen, and the like every since I was a little kid, and I always wanted to try cooking for real and making masterful dishes. They may not be fine dining caliber yet, but I think that so far, they have impressed! 

This dish came about as our first semester final for the culinary class. We had to transform cooking methods and techniques we had learned into a dish. We could utilize baking, mixing techniques (for muffins, pancakes, cookies, etc.), sauces, and soups. Our group decided to go with a sauce and mixing technique, and came up with this savory crepe as a result. The chicken itself was amazing and the crepe was delicious, but we did have one roadblock. At the time, I had no clue how to reduce something to thicken it, and we wanted to make a reduced lemongrass basil sauce to garnish the crepe with. We make a whole pot of the sauce, and I put the lid on, which meant that the sauce wouldn't reduce and everything would just boil. We ended up with a lot of extra sauce that day, but it was a good and fun learning experience! 

Anyhow, this crepe dish is a blend of Thai and French, with a savory crepe going perfectly to balance out the heat and bold flavors of the marinated chicken. With a rich thick sauce to complement it, this is one recipe I'm glad I came up with in high school- even with a messed up sauce! 

Recipe will make around 20 crepes.

For the Chicken:

5 pounds diced chicken breast
3 1/2 cups coconut milk
1 1/4 cup chopped and bruised lemongrass
1/4 cup sriracha
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp turmeric
2 tbsp dried mint
2 tbsp white pepper
Salt and pepper to season

For the Sauce: 

2 cups chicken stock
2 tsp white pepper
1 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp lime juice
1 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp garlic powder
3 tsp dried basil
1/4 cup chopped/bruised lemongrass

For the Crepes:

2 large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 stick of butter to coat the pan
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup blend of minced green onion and finely chopped cilantro


1. Combine all of the marinade ingredients together and rub into the chicken breast. Leave it to marinate overnight.
2. To make the sauce, combine all the sauce ingredients in a food processor. Blend, the bring to a boil in a sauce pan and let reduce by about a third.
3. Combine all of the crepe ingredients together in a food processor. Blend, then strain through a sieve. Butter a pan, and put a small ladle of the crepe batter in, keeping it extremely thin. Cook for thirty seconds, flip, cook for another 15 seconds, then take it off of the pan. Rebutter the pan each time you make a crepe!
4. Cook the cubed chicken pieces on high heat with canola oil for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on each side or until fully cooked.
5. In each crepe, add a few pieces of the chicken (about a quarter pound so you get an even 20 crepes) on the crepe. Fold the crepe up, and drizzle a small amount of the sauce over the top.

This recipe was one of my favorites, since I really love Thai-style cooking and lemongrass. Crepes are also incredibly delicious, and add a nice rich balance out to the overall dish.

I hope you enjoy this recipe! Let me know what you think of it, and what you would change. If you make it, let me know how it turns out! Enjoy! =) 

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