Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Cooking: Vietnamese-Style "Claypot" Chicken

I know.. I know... I haven't cooked in a while. Justyn had leftovers to eat and I finally felt the cooking itch. No matter, at least we'll have leftovers for lunch tomorrow. I had marked a recipe from appetiteforchina.com for this claypot chicken Vietnamese style which sounded divine just by looking at the ingrediants. Not only that, but it seemed like it would be easy enough for a weeknight meal.

The only ingrediants I needed to gather were ginger, garlic, chicken, rice, green onion, shallots, lemon and Thai chillies. Yes, if you look at AFC's recipe, it clearly says to use red onion. I just figured that the Vietnamese use a lot of shallots in their cooking so that's what I used. Plus the red onions at Lucky were too big.

There aren't a lot of pictures shown here because I was missing my memo card for a while. Anyway, you sear the chicken on both sides. To make this more figure friendly, I took the skin off the chicken thighs. Unfortunately, they kept sticking to my dutch oven so I recommend keeping the skin on and then just not eating it if you're watching your weight.

Once you've seared the chicken, remove it from the pot. My recipe differs from AFC in that no claypot or wok was used. I wanted to make it a one pot dish to make it easier on myself especially for a weekday dinner.

Add the thinly sliced shallots and let them carmalize slightly. Then add the ginger (which I used my microplane on instead of mincing), chopped garlic, thai bird chillies. Stir that around until it's fragrant and then add your 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar. Once the sugar has melted, add your tsp of fish sauce. So... I actually added a bit too much which I was worried about cuz the stuff I bought was freaking salty! Way more so than the good stuff so... yeah. I added my mixture of soy sauce, lemon juice, white sugar, chicken broth (instead of water), and vinegar to the pot to deglaze. Then I added the seared chicken thighs back in and let that come to a boil before dropping it down to a simmer. So... this is kind of a braised dish.

I kinda effed up here by forgetting to add the mushrooms about 7 minutes into the simmer, so I dropped them in. Besides, as bad as this sounds, mushrooms cook quick. I'm totally breaking the rules oooo!

I had some white nasty stupid rice cooking in my rice cooker while this was simmering away. I'm kinda pissed because it says "premium long grain rice" and it turned out being dry as hell. Also, I did have some Jasmine rice in the cupboard which I forgot about. Ah well.. Here's how it turned out.

The flavors were extordinary. Sweet, salty, sour & even umaminess from the shiitake mushrooms. I hope tomorrow, it'll be even better!

Recipe: http://appetiteforchina.com/recipes/vietnamese-style-clay-pot-chicken

No comments: