Vietnamese food is fragrant and herbal with a tang of citrus. This chicken is wonderful served over rice or rice noodles, but for a barbecue it is so attractive served with lettuce leaves and herbs. If you can’t get boneless with skin on and don’t want to bone your own, use skinless boneless thighs and cook a few minutes less.
2 lbs (1 kg) chicken thighs, boneless with skin on
1 tsp grated lemon rind
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp sambal oelek
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 head Boston lettuce, leaves separated
Handful of mint sprigs
Handful of coriander sprigs
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 green mango, thinly sliced
optional 2 cups pea shoots
1/2 English cucumber, cut into half moons
Rice paper wrappers, soaked optional
Trim chicken thighs of fat. Combine lemon rind and juice, garlic, sugar, mint, fish sauce, sambal oelek and oil and toss with chicken thighs. Leave to marinate for 2 hours or overnight, refrigerated, turning chicken occasionally. Remove chicken from marinade.
Oil grill and preheat to medium. Place chicken on grill flesh-side down. Grill for 10 to 12 minutes, turning once or until juices run clear.
Arrange salad on a platter. Slice chicken and place over salad. Spoon into lettuce cups or rice paper wrappers to serve.