Monday, August 23, 2010

Vietnamese Style Caramel Chicken

There's something about foods that are sticky and sweet. Think barbecue, sticky buns, taffy... and chicken. Yes, chicken! This recipe for Vietnamese Style Caramel Chicken is a sweet and savory dish that's full of complex flavor yet so simple and quick to prepare in less than 30 minutes! Have I piqued your interest and curiosity? Read on!...

Vietnamese Style Caramel Chicken is a dish that consists of first making a simple caramel with brown sugar and water. Once the caramel is a rich deep brown color, more water, fish sauce, grated fresh ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes and chicken is added. After a few minutes, the liquid will reduce and eventually boil up to a sticky, salty and sweet sauce, resulting in a caramel type consistency. It's quite an intriguing recipe despite being so simple and straightforward. And it's amazing that this dish is done in less than 30 minutes too, making it great for the weeknights. I served this over steamed jasmine rice along with steamed broccoli.

Vietnamese Style Caramel Chicken
recipe adapted from America's Test Kitchen

1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup water, divided
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces

Heat sugar and 1/4 cup water in a large saucepan over medium heat, swirling pan occasionally, until mixture is bubbling and very dark brown, about 8 minutes.

Whisk in the remaining 1/4 cup water, fish sauce, ginger, garlic, and pepper flakes. Stir in chicken and cook until the sauce is thickened and sticky and chicken is tender, about 10-15 minutes. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.