I love how every year everyday landscapes are transformed as giant Israeli flags flap from lamp posts and front gates, tops of office blocks, car windows and aerials, burly trucks and cheeky motorbike delivery vehicles.
I had to smile to see that even my hairdresser's birdcage was sporting its own national flag....even a parakeet can be proudly Israeli!
Of course, Yom Hautzmaut is synonymous with barbecues, as the entire country heads outdoors to make the most of the day off work and the glorious, balmy weather.
There's little time for preparation as we head straight from the solemn sadness of Yom HaZikaron into a party atmosphere....fortunately this finger-licking good, grilled chicken requires very little preparation indeed.
Members of the Anti-Cilantro League - the New York Times reports there is even a Facebook group titled 'I hate Cilantro' - should know that the flavor of this pungent herb is far more mellow when cooked and I believe adds considerably to this must-make dish.
Leave it out if you must....or substitute with freshly chopped mint instead.
CELEBRATORY BARBECUED CHICKEN
8 skinned, boneless chicken thighs or breasts
1/2 cup Thai sweet chilli sauce
1/4 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons fresh lemon/lime juice
1 -2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped peanuts
2 teaspoons Soya sauce*
1: Mix marinade ingredients together, add the chicken and leave for a minimum of 4 - 5 hours before barbecuing or grilling.
COOK'S NOTES: Continue the flavor theme by roasting sweet potato on the barbecue or in the oven, chop into rough chunks and toss through a dressing of sweet chilli sauce mixed with a little coconut milk, chopped cilantro and peanuts. Leftover coconut milk may be frozen. Sweet Soya sauce - a recent addition to the Kikkoman range - is preferable here but regular Soya sauce will suffice.
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