Thursday, February 11, 2010
Vietnamese caramelized chicken ga kho recipe
This vietnamese recipe was inspired by foodwishes and I saw that many other food bloggers/enthusiasists like ravenous couple that tried this recipe (through links on his page) said that the dish was easy to make and the chicken turned out to be sticky sweet, slightly salty and tender to the bite. Chef John has a fantastic way of recreating the caramel sauce by combining fish sauce, sugar, water and vinegar in a one step that results in a caramelized sauce that is gooey, sweet and savoury. Be careful to turn your fire down to medium-low otherwise you might burn the sugar and furthermore reduce the sauce too much. The essentials of this dish is to try and burn the sugar onto the chicken and let is soak up all the delicious juices from the pan and the sticky sweet savoury sauce. Use chicken thighs and not breasts as you are going to simmer it for awhile and chicken thighs can withstand the heat and don't go dry unlike chicken breasts the longer you cook it. Furthermore, the longer it simmers in the sauce, the better the chicken is going to taste. I also followed Chef John's advice and added some roasted peanuts for the added crunch.
Caramelized Chicken - ga kho
2.5 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs (I used bone in)
3/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1/3 cup + 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup water
4 cloves of minced garlic
2 Tablespoons grated/finely minced lemongrass (you can also substitute with finely minced ginger)
2 shallots, minced
2 jalepenos and 1 thai chili (optional), thinly sliced (I substituted jalapenos with green chilli)
2 green onions, sliced about 1/2 inch
Fresh cracked pepper
Roasted sesame seeds
2 Tablespoons cooking oil
Marinade the chicken with 2 Tablespoons of fish sauce and 1 Tablespoon brown sugar for about 1/2 hr.
In the meantime in a small bowl make the sauce by combining 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup each of water, rice vinegar, and fish sauce and mix until dissolve. Add the lemongrass, shallots, and garlic and set aside.
Heat a large pan on high with cooking oil and add the chicken with the flat surface of thigh facing down. Allow to sear without touching them for a minute or so and then pour in about 1/4 of the sauce. Try not to move around the chicken as you want the chicken to sear and caramelize. The sauce will start to thicken and the chicken will brown after a few minutes.
Check to see if it's nicely caramelized, then turn the pieces of chicken over and pour in the rest of the sauce. Continue to cook until sauce is reduced to nice thick consistency and just as you turn off the heat, toss in the chiles and green onions.
Transfer to serving platter and generously top with roasted sesame and fresh cracked pepper.
Here's a video of Chef John making the dish:
I strongly suggest you check out his blog, he is an amazing chef and I've tried several of his recipes and they all turned out to be really scrumptious and appetizing. Here's the link.