Thursday, November 8, 2012

Ga Kho Chicken

I’m a sucker for chicken cooked in a killer sauce and served over rice. If you check out my past recipes, that’s definitely a theme. So I figured this recipe would be right up my culinary alley. It turned out… fine. A little sweet for my tastes, but I know there are people who love that. The comments on the blog where I found this, The Ravenous Couple, were nothing but raves, so maybe it was the fact that we couldn’t get our chicken to caramelize that made us miss out on some flavor. Anyway, this isn’t going to go into regular rotation for us, but if you like a sweet, flavorful sauce, then this might be the one for you!

4-6 chicken thighs (boneless, skinless)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup water
4 cloves of crushed garlic
2 tbs chopped ginger or lemongrass
1 large shallot minced
2 tbs soy sauce for marinade
1 tbs brown sugar for marinade
2-3 serrano chiles
2 green onions, sliced
fresh cracked pepper
2 tbs cooking oil

Start by marinating the chicken with 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. The original recipe called for fish sauce, but as my husband so delicately put it, “It smells like feet.” Soy sauce is a good substitute, but go ahead use fish sauce if you know you like it. Marinate for a half hour at least.

In the meantime, you can make your sauce in a small bowl. Combine the brown sugar, soy sauce (or fish sauce), rice vinegar and water and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add in the shallot, garlic, and ginger and stir before setting aside.

Heat oil in a large pan and put in the chicken with the meatier side of the thigh facing down. This is where the original recipe wanted you to get some good caramelization, but it just didn’t work for us. Maybe because we have a nonstick pan? Anyway, allow it to sear without touching or moving the chicken for a minute or two and then pour in a quarter of the sauce. You’ll want to leave the chicken alone, again so that it gets a good sear on it (hopefully).

Cook for just a few minutes and check the chicken to see if it’s caramelized, or at least just nice and browned. Then you can turn it over and add the rest of the sauce. I also added in the chiles here because I wanted them to cook a little, although the recipe called to add them at the end. Top with cracked black pepper and serve over rice. The sauce will thicken even more once it is off the heat, and you definitely want the rice to soak it up. Like I said, it was very flavorful, just a little sweet for my tastes maybe. 

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