Prep 40 mins
Cook 45 mins
Found this wonderful Vietnamese recipe in a supermarket leaflet and adapted it to my liking. Everyone I share it with is crazy about it and it has ended up on the lunch menu at the hotel where I work! If you've never used fish sauce before, go for it. It may smell like dirty socks, but it is essential to this dish, do not delete or substitute. If you don't want to bother with all the herbs, just use cilantro, it's still great. Let me know how you like it!
- 1 cup sugar
- 1⁄4 cup water
- 3⁄4 cup canned reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons vietnamese fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 whole chicken, cut in 10 pieces (split the breasts)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (if needed)
- 4 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh garlic, chopped
- 1⁄2 large onion, chopped
- 1 -2 tablespoon jalapeno, chopped
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 4 tablespoons of fresh mint, chopped
- 4 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- 4 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Combine sugar and water in a high sided sauce pot. Bring to boil and simmer until the sugar turns a dark caramel color, but not burnt. Do not stir the sugar while cooking or it may crystallize. Add the chicken broth (the broth will boil quickly and spatter because of the hot sugar so be careful. This is the reason for the high sided pan). Stir in the broth and continue stirring over low heat until the sugar dissolves, then add the fish sauce and soy sauce. Set aside.
- Season the chicken pieces with the salt. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet and brown the chicken pieces on all sides. In the same pan, (using the extra vegetable oil if needed) sauté the ginger, garlic, onion and jalapeno over medium heat for a couple minutes until soft and fragrant. Add the browned chicken pieces and the caramel sauce, turning the chicken in the caramel broth to coat all sides. Arrange the chicken in the pan so it is all submerged in the sauce as much as possible and bring the pot to a boil. Cover the pot, put in the oven and braise until done, about 35-45 minutes.
- While chicken is cooking, combine the green onion and the other herbs and set aside.
- Serve the chicken over your favorite rice, with the herbs sprinkled on top. I like jasmine rice.
We had something very similar to this in French Guyana in the open air market. This recipe was very easy and a big hit. The only thing I changed was that I skinned the chicken.
This has become a favorite in my family and I have repeated it already a few times over the last 6 months.
This is a very traditional Vietnamese recipe and always impresses. The taste should be sweet, but not overpoweringly so. You should be able to taste all the flavours distinctly - fishy, salty and sweet. In the version I have, there is only cilantro included, the basil and mint doesn't feature. There are no chillies in it either. You can make it more authentic by substituting Thai palm sugar (which is pale in colour - do not use the dark coloured palm sugar)and using less - maybe 1/2 a cup with a couple of tabsp of water. Also, the sugar/water mix should be reduced to a thick syrup but not a deep coloured caramel.