Basil and Five-Spice Infused Chicken Thighs with Cantaloupe Salad

Cuisine Style: Asian Cook Time: 90 mins Serves: 10 Add to my planner
Five-spice powder, a spice used extensively in Southern Chinese and Vietnamese cooking, is a rich blend of five single spices, mixed together to stimulate simultaneously all taste sensations: sweet, sour, bitter, pungent and salty. Now sold pre-packaged and pre-blended at most grocery stores, five-spice powder is becoming more familiar to American home cooks who want to add a strong flavor to meats like chicken.


14 Lilydale chicken thighs
16 basil leaves
For Marinade:
1 tablespoon five-spice powder
1 stalk lemon grass, coarsely chopped
┬╝ cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons water
For Cantaloupe Salad: 
1/2 cantaloupe, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
12 basil leaves, slivered


  1. Lift the skin on thighs and press 4 basil leaves under each. Place Lilydale chicken in sealable plastic bag. 
  2. In blender, mix 1 tablespoon five-spice powder, lemon grass, soy sauce, vegetable oil and water. Puree until smooth. Pour mixture into plastic bag with chicken; seal and shake until chicken is coated. Refrigerate at least 1 hour, or up to 24 hours. 
  3. When ready to cook, prepare coals for grill, or preheat gas grill. Place chicken on grill over medium heat and cook, turning, until firm and cooked thoroughly, about 10 - 15 minutes per side. 
  4. While chicken is cooking, prepare salad by whisking together in medium bowl 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder, rice vinegar, 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Set aside. Arrange cantaloupe slices on serving plates or platter. Drizzle salad dressing over cantaloupe; sprinkle with slivered basil leaves. Place chicken thighs next to salad to serve.

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