Prep 15 mins
Cook 30 mins
From Vietnamese Home Cooking by Charles Phan
Roasted Chile Paste
- 1 tablespoon szechuan peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon annatto seeds
- 1⁄2 cup finely chopped shallot
- 1⁄2 cup olive oil
- 1⁄4 cup finely minced garlic (about 8 cloves)
- 1⁄4 cup red pepper flakes
- 1⁄3 cup ground bean paste
- 2 tablespoons rice wine
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons chicken stock or 2 tablespoons water
- 1 pinch sugar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken (use breast or thigh meat, or a mix of both)
- 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
- 1⁄4 cup finely minced lemongrass
- 1 red jalapeno chiles or 1 green jalapeno chile, stemmed and thinly sliced on the diagonal into rings
- 2 tablespoons rice wine
- 1 tablespoon roasted chili paste
- 2 scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped roasted peanuts, for garnish
- Make the Chile Paste: Combine the peppercorns and annatto seeds in a spice grinder (or use a mortar and pestle) and grind coarsely. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, combine the shallots and oil over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, for about 6 minutes, until the shallots are light gold. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for about 4 minutes longer, until the garlic and shallot are lightly browned.
- Stir in the red pepper flakes and the peppercorn-annatto mixture, mixing well. Add the wine, sugar, and soy sauce and continue cooking, stirring, for 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. This will make a lot more than you will need for making the Lemongrass Chicken. Store the remainder in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Lemongrass Chicken: In a small bowl, whisk together fish sauce, stock, and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside.
- Heat a wok over high heat until hot; the metal will have a matte appearance and a drop or two of water flicked onto its surface should evaporate on contact. Add 1 tablespoon oil and heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add the chicken and cook, turning occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes, until lightly browned on both sides.
- Remove chicken from wok.
- Return wok to heat and add 1 tablespoon oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes, just until softened. Add the garlic, lemongrass, and jalapeño chile and cook for 30 seconds longer. Add the wine and deglaze the pan, stirring to dislodge any browned bits.
- Add the chicken back to the wok. Add the fish sauce mixture, chile paste, and scallions to the pan and continue cooking for 1 minute more, until the scallions have softened slightly and the chicken is cooked through.
- Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with the peanuts. Serve immediately.