Sometimes I have good ideas. Sometimes I get inspiration from other people. Sometimes my good ideas lead me to find inspiration, and it’s all one happy little coincidence. So after geeking around the web recently I came across a nifty little thing called Meebo. Meebo is a site that lets you embed your own little message window into the browser, so visitors can talk to you while they’re visiting your site. Which i thought was a relatively novel idea, although I figured it would be a waste of time.
Imagine my surprise then, when not long after setting it up, long time reader, first time instant live chatter Brad decided to mosey on by the site and give me an awesome recipe for the now obviously titled “Vietnamese Caramelised Chicken”.
According to Brad it was made by his brother recently, but he was going to do one better by remaking it with some additions. After taking a quick look at the recipe, I figured it could just about fit the often eclectic mix of ingredients I had in my fridge at the time, and so I printed it out and headed home to make it that very night.
The recipe from Brad, in it’s elegant simplicity is shown below. With the stuff in brackets being my own modifications.
VIETNAMESE-STYLE CARAMEL CHICKEN
- 1 TBSP RICE BRAN OIL (I used peanut oil)
- 4 SKINLESS, BONELESS CHICKEN THIGHS (I used two chicken breasts)
- 2 CLOVES GARLIC, SLICED
- 6 BROWN SHALLOTS, THINLY SLICED (I used one big onion)
- 1 TSP DRIED CHILLI FLAKES (I used a bunch of chilli powder)
- 6 TBSP SOY SAUCE (I basically splashed a whole bunch of soy sauce into the pan)
- 2 TBSP BROWN SUGAR
- 1/2 zucchini, sliced
- handful of coriander, chopped
Heat the oil in a pan and brown the chicken in 2 batches, Remove the chicken and set aside. Add the garlic, shallots and chilli to the pan and cook over a gentle heat until soft and golden brown. Return the chicken to the pan and add the soy sauce and brown sugar. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, remove the lid, turn up the heat and cook, stirring until the chicken is coated and the sauce has reduced to a sticky syrup.
Serve on steamed rice with a squeeze of lemon or lime over the top.
For a very simple video of the process I went through to make it, check this out
So the result was great. Succulent chicken and a thick slightly sweet sauce that came together as the brown sugar was absorbed into the soy sauce. The coriander gave it a fragrant lift, along with a splash of apple cider (the new Pipsqueak brand from Little Creatures) that just felt right at the time.
Here’s to serendipity bringing great ideas your way soon. And if you haven’t checked out the actual website in a while, stop by soon and say hello, I promise to try not to freak you out :)