Saturday, November 7, 2009

Ga Kho - Vietnamese Braised Chicken

Ga Kho picture from Sundaynitedinner

Ga Kho will kick off my month-long crockpot recipes. Why the crockpot? Well, I'm a cook, aspiring to be a chef, and to a cook, the crockpot is their best friend. Food tastes better when it's cooked slower and the crockpot allows for slow cooking with minimal effort. Everything comes out so moist and flavorful. I love it.
My inspiration for this recipe comes from Ravenous Couple, a blog filled with great Vietnamese recipes and pictures. Ga Kho means braised chicken in Vietnamese and this is a very easy, simple dish made with common ingredients. Traditionally it's suppose to be made in a clay pot but my version is in a crock pot. There's less caramelization, but the result is so tender and flavorful. It's well-worth the time.
Ga Kho

1 lb skinless boneless chicken thigh or leg
4 tsp fish sauce
3 tblsp brown sugar
2 tblsp garlic
salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 can, 8 ou. young coconut juice
3 tblsp caramel sauce
1/2 jalepeno, seeded
1. Marinade chicken with fish sauce, brown sugar, garlic, salt and pepper. Marinade for at least an hour, the longer, the better.
2. Heat oven to high broil, place tray on top slot, so it's 5 inches from the oven coil. Place marinated chicken on sheets and broil in oven. Time varies on the cut of the chicken, usually 3-4 mins on each side. Broil until there's a nice crisp caramelization ontop the chicken, sprinkle brown sugar on chicken to give a better caramelization, but be careful, it may burn.
3. Place semi-broiled chicken in crockpot, try to get all the scraping too. Add coconut juice, jalepeno and caramel. Heat on low for 3-4 hours, chicken is finished when it's cooked through. Check to make sure by piercing the thickest part, the juice should run clear. You may want to flip the chicken over once while it's cooking.
4. Turn crockpot off and keep chicken inside to keep warm. Remove the drippings into a small sauce pan. Place on stove and heat on high until liquid is boiling, then reduce to low heat. Reduce the liquid down to your preferred consistency, usually 15 mins. I like to add another tblsp of caramel and cornstarch to quicken the thickening process.
5. Pour thicken sauce ontop the chicken. Serve with rice and garnish with basil leaves.


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