On a gloomy day, coming home to this braised chicken dish is better than money in the bank. The chicken is very flavorful and moist, and it falls straight off the bone. It’s perfect with some plain steamed rice over which you’ve drizzled the caramel braising sauce.
1½ to 2poundschicken thighs and legs, skinless
3clovegarlic, finely chopped
1teaspoonground black pepper
2scallions, sliced into rings
3tablespoons minced fresh ginger
½fresh Thai bird chile, chopped into rings
2cupsfresh coconut juice or coconutsoda such as Coco Rico
In a small bowl, combine the garlic, fish sauce, black pepper, scallions, 1tablespoon of the olive oil, the ginger, and chile.
In a clay pot or saucepan, caramelize the sugar until brown. Add the chicken and coat with caramel.
Pour the fish sauce mixture all over the chicken. Add just ½cup of the coconut juice or soda and gently stir it in. Bring the pot to a boil and let it continue to boil for 10 to 15 minutes. Add remainder of coconut juice or soda. Lower the heat to a simmer and cover the pot.
Continue simmering the chicken for 2 hours, or until liquid has reduced to half.
After 2 hours, the chicken will be thoroughly cooked, and the meat will be falling off the bone. The sauce will have thickened nicely. If you prefer a more syrupy texture, you can continue cooking, but for no longer than 30 minutes. Either way, serve the chicken with hot rice. Drizzle the sauce over the rice and garnish with fresh cilantro and black pepper.