Prep 20 mins
Cook 1 hr
This is a copycat recipe for Pei Wei Asian Diner's Caramel Chicken (Caramel chile sauce, pineapple, ginger, garlic, lemongrass, mint, rice sticks, Asian slaw of cucumbers, red bell peppers, carrots, cilantro, red onions, Fresno chile peppers, Vietnamese vinaigrette).
- 1 cup sugar
- 1⁄4 cup water
- 3⁄4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons 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 red onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons jalapenos, chopped
- 1 English cucumber, sliced then julienned
- 1⁄2 red bell pepper, julienned lengthwise
- 1 carrot, cut diagonally
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1⁄2 cup pineapple chunk
- 4 tablespoons of fresh mint, chopped
- 4 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- 4 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- 1⁄2 cup lime juice, plus wedges for serving
- 1⁄4 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons vietnamese fish sauce
- 1⁄2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 4 teaspoons vegetable oil
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- 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.
- Combine Vietnamese vinaigrette ingredients to a medium bowl and add cucumbers, red bell peppers and carrots. Marinate until ready to use.
- Season the chicken pieces with the salt.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large dutch oven and brown the chicken pieces on all sides. Set aside.
- In the same pan, (using the extra vegetable oil if needed) saute the ginger, garlic, red onion, and jalapeno over medium heat for 4-5 minutes until soft and fragrant.
- Add the browned chicken pieces and the caramel sauce to the dutch oven, 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 (35-45 minutes). While chicken is cooking, assemble the green onion, pineapple chunks and the other herbs and set aside.
- Just before serving, add in the green onions and pineapple chunks and stir well. Serve the chicken over your favorite rice or rice vermicelli.Top with portion of Vietnamese vinaigrette slaw.