Food & Wine Magazine: May Cover Recipe

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Thai Chicken with Hot-Sour-Salty-Sweet Sauce

RATING: 2.5 out of 5 (what the?!)

INITIAL THOUGHTS: A tasty looking continuation of last month’s Asian flavours, perfect for the commencement of grill season.

THE TEST: Mr. Spock and I were both excited to try Food & Wine Magazine’s May cover recipe, as we’ve both been bit by the BBQ bug. What can I say? The sun finally decided to make a lasting appearance in Vancouver, and we wanted to capitalize.

© 2012 CookThatBook

Preparing the chicken was easy. The first step is to let the meat marinate in a blended mixture of cilantro, fish sauce and pepper for 20 minutes. The chicken is then grilled and finished in the oven, and served with a dipping sauce that consists of tamarind concentrate, fish sauce, lime juice, garlic, Thai chile, sugar, water, vegetable oil and cilantro.

© 2012 CookThatBook

On paper everything looked good and I thought we were all set for success, but one whiff of the fish sauce and a storm cloud of doubt gathered in our kitchen. Yikes. This is supposed to taste good?!

© 2012 CookThatBook

THE RESULTS: Disastrous. That is the only way I can describe the results of this recipe test. We ended up marinating the chicken outside on the patio as the smell was making us nauseous. I kid you not! Crossing our fingers that the smell would improve somehow after grilling, we forged ahead but unfortunately the chicken was just plain inedible. I’m sorry, but the taste of rotting fish is just not appetizing to my palate.

What on earth went wrong?

I’m wondering if my results were unfavourable due to the type of fish sauce I used? Does anyone know if there is a particular brand of fish sauce that is preferable to others? I ended up using a traditional Thai fish sauce. Was that where I went wrong? I’m hoping for some advice, as I’d really like to know what I could have done to garner better tasting results.

© 2012 CookThatBook

Ironically enough, the kids LOVED the chicken. Seriously?! Wow. Hubby and I are still in shock they actually ate this dish. Go figure.

Okay, enough of me whining. Let’s head over to Food, Je t’Aimée and see what Aimée thought about this month’s recipe (the girl is in the middle of moving chaos and still found time to make this month’s cover…go Aimée go!) And don’t forget to read Kendall Harris of Wine2Three’s wine pairing. To compliment the spice in this dish, she opted for a delightfully economic and great tasting Zin.

If you would like to join us next month, the more the merrier. So pick-up a copy of the latest issue of Food & Wine Magazine and be sure to send us your thoughts, comments and photos. We’d love to hear from you.

Cover Recipe:
Thai Chicken with Hot-Sour-Salty-Sweet Sauce 

© 2012 CookThatBook

As part of my culinary New Year’s resolutions, I have committed to creating each month’s cover recipe from Food & Wine Magazine.

NOTE: If any of you would like to follow along with me and join in on the fun, I’d love to compare notes! So pick-up a copy of the latest issue of Food & Wine and get cooking. Be sure to send your comments and photos to

The mission of Food & Wine Magazine is to find the most exciting places, new experiences, emerging trends and sensations in the culinary and wine industries. From travel and entertaining to luxury and design, this magazine brings an energetic and stylish take on food and wine. For more information on Food & Wine Magazine, please visit


Wine Pairing by Kendall Harris of Wine2Three

Whenever I taste a Zinfandel wine my initial response is; “I need to drink more Zinfandel!” Such was the case with the memorably named Zinfatuation, which is a perfect pairing with this month’s Food & Wine Magazine’s cover recipe.

Zinfandel was one of the first grapes planted in California by Italian immigrants in the mid 1800’s, and today the oldest vines in California are Zinfandel vines. Zin represents only 10 percent of the grapes grown in California, yet you often hear it referred to as California’s classic grape variety. In fact, there was recently a push to make it California’s “official” grape but as you can imagine, big growers of Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay had that motion overturned!

You may have heard of White Zinfandel, which is a semi-sweet rose wine made from red Zinfandel grapes. It’s usually inexpensive and a huge seller for mega-producers like Sutter Home. Interestingly enough, White Zinfandel outsells red Zinfandel wine by 6 to 1!

Zin (the red wine Zin) is often described as being the perfect BBQ wine, pairing beautifully with smoky grilled food. When I think Zin I think “big fruit” – rich, ripe fruit flavours of raspberry and blackberry with hints of black pepper. Delicious! That’s definitely the case with Zinfatuation, a wine with a gorgeous nose, lots of fruit and a lovely, lingering finish. A wine reminiscent of California sunshine, best consumed al fresco with flavorful grilled food. Enjoy!

Kendall Harris shares her adventures in the wine world as Wine2three on Twitter & Facebook. She is WSET (Wine & Spirits Education Trust) Advanced Certified & is currently developing a weekly wine series on ShawTV, where she is a full time reporter. Join her on Facebook – click LIKE at for regular fun wine info!