Monday, August 11, 2008

New Recipe Sunday (er, Monday) #5

Caramelized Black Pepper Chicken
Source: Food & Wine Magazine

You will need:

  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tsp. coarsely ground pepper
  • 2 fresh Thai chilies, halved
  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • cilantro sprigs (for garnish)
  1. Combine the brown sugar, fish sauce, water, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, pepper and chilies in a small bowl.
  2. Heat the canola oil in a large deep skillet over moderate heat. Once heated, add the sliced shallot and cook until softened, approx. 4 minutes. Turn the heat to high, add the chicken and the fish sauce mixture. Bring to a simmer. Simmer over high heat until the chicken is cooked, approx. 10 minutes.
  3. Garnish with cilantro and serve over rice.

Cooking Notes: (a) Fish sauce is available in most Asian markets. 'Squid' brand is preferred in our household. The smell is quite pungent, so you may want to open the windows while simmering the sauce. (b) You can adjust the amount of sweetness and heat to your liking. For example, next time I'll use a bit less sugar (maybe 1/3 cup) and add in another chili pepper. (c) This is a quick, easy, under 30-minute recipe. But Charles Phan kicks Rachel Ray's butt!

Eddie's Rating: This one garnered a "Very good. Make it again." with a simultaneous thumbs-up. I think he really digs this one.

On a related cooking note, downsizing is definitely in effect at supermarkets at least with regard to product sizes and not prices. On the right is an empty box of penne rigate I purchased several months ago. On the left is the replacement box I purchased last week.

Old box = 1 pound (the heretofore standard pasta box amount)

New box = slightly less

The price? Was not respectively lower. Argh.

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