Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Vietnamese Caramelized Ginger Chicken

This week at I Heart Cooking Clubs, the theme is November Cuisine Spotlight : Asian Food! We can cook any Asian food recipe from any of the 19 featured chefs, full list can be found at IHCC.

I've cooked from Diana Henry's cookbook, A Bird In The Hand, Vietnamese Caramelized Ginger Chicken. I've used 3 whole chicken legs, cut to bite-sized pieces. The chicken pieces are marinated with fish sauce, crushed ginger and garlic, sugar and sliced chilli, for at least 4 hours, covered in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before cooking. Fry the chicken in some oil until they are browned all over. Remove and keep aside. Add sliced onion to the pan and cook until they are beginning to brown, remove and add to the chicken. In the same pan, place sugar and water, and let boil until caramelize, then add some chicken stock and lime juice. Let it come to a boil, then add the chicken and onion. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes or so, until the sauce has reduced and the chicken is cooked through. Stir in sliced chilli, spring onions and coriander. Serve immediately with rice.

A flavourful chicken dish. We had it with rice, along with some stir-fried cos lettuce.

Vietnamese Caramelized Ginger Chicken
(A Bird In The Hand, by Diana Henry)
"It's important here to get the sugar to caramelize, otherwise you miss the depth of flavour this dish is supposed to have and will also end up with a bowlful that is rather too sweet"
Serves 4
6 skin-on bone-in chicken thighs
3 tbsp fish sauce
4 tbsp caster sugar
8 garlic cloves, crushed
50gm root ginger, peeled and grated
2 red chillies, 1 sliced with seeds, the other halved, deseeded and sliced
1 tbsp groundnut or sunflower oil
1 onion, halved and cut into small crescent moon-shaped wedges
400ml chicken stock\
juice of 1-2 limes
2 spring onions, finely sliced on the diagonal
small handful of coriander, roughly chopped
2 tbsp ginger, julienned (my addition)

Remove the excess fat and skin from each thigh and cut each in half, through the bone. Put these in a bowl with the fish sauce, 1 tbsp of the sugar, the garlic, ginger and the sliced whole chili. Turn everything over to make sure the chicken gets coated. Cover with cling film and put in the fridge to marinate. It ideally needs four hours, though overnight is even better. Bring it to room temperature before cooking.
Heat the oil in a saute pan and fry the chicken over a medium heat on all sides to get a good colour (reserve the marinade). Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the onion to the pan and fry until it is just beginning to get a good colour. Add it to the chicken.
Drain any excess oil from the pan, but don't clean it. Add the rest of the sugar and 2 tbsp of water and heat until the sugar turns to caramel, you must take it far enough so that the sugar caramelizes (otherwise you will just have a sweet sauce), but no so far that it burns. The colour and smell should tell you wen you get there. Immediately add the stock and the juice of 1 lime. Bring to the boil, then add the chicken, onion and reserved marinade. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the juices are nice and glossy round the meat.
Stir in the rest of the chilli, the spring onions, and the coriander (and julienned ginger). Check to see  whether you need more lime. Serve immediately with rice and stir-fried greens.

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  1. Definitely my kind of food...perfect to serve with steamed rice!

  2. This sounds and looks delicious Joyce !! xo

  3. This is absolutely beautiful, Joyce! Your picture just brings the dish to life, all the colors are so pretty.

    I tried making this once a long time ago. I think I burnt the sugar and the dish didn't turn out right. You're making me want to try it again because yours looks perfect!