Maybe you also saw this piece in the New York Times Magazine this past weekend? These recipes almost always look intriguing, but it's rare for me to run right out and buy the ingredients for something like I did for this. I don't know what it was about it, but I just had to make this, NOW. I'm glad I did, too. It was absolutely delicious, and pretty darned easy. It was something completely different for me, and I don't run across too many meals I can say that about these days. It's also a great way to use chicken thighs and legs - which generally cook up a little too rubbery for me in any preparation but a braise, and you probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry already - though you may have to buy another bottle of rice vinegar. (It uses a whole one.)
I modified the recipe to use the whole can of coconut milk and - inspired by the article - added a few ingredients of my own to give it a little zing. The result was rich, tangy, spicy, complex and strangely addictive. I was inspired enough to run right over here and type this up - both to share it with you fabulous people, and to make sure I don't forget what I did, since I definitely plan to make it again!
adapted from Sam Sifton, who in turn adapted it from Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan of the Purple Yam restaurant in Brooklyn.
1 can coconut milk (I used regular, but I am pretty sure light would also be fine)
1/3 cup soy sauce
1½ cups rice vinegar (one 12 ounce bottle)
1 Tablespoon dark brown sugar*
1 Tablespoon of good balsamic vinegar*
1/2 tsp ground red pepper*
1/2 tsp turmeric*
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and cut into chunks roughly the size of the garlic cloves*
12 whole garlic cloves, peeled (you could probably use 4-6 and smash them but leave them whole for the same effect)
2 whole serrano chilis or other hot chilis (original recipe calls for Bird chilis) split open and seeds removed with a paring knife.
3 bay leaves
several grinds of freshl black pepper
3 to 4 pounds (8-10 pieces) bone-in chicken thighs.
1. Combine all ingredients with chicken in a large 5 quart dutch oven or stock pot. Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight.
2. Place pot containing chicken and marinade on the stove over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and tender, around 30-40 minutes.
3. Remove chicken pieces from pot and place on a foil lined sheet pan - set aside. Skim excess fat from sauce, and use a slotted spoon to remove garlic cloves, ginger, chilis and bay leaves. Simmer sauce over medium-high heat until it reduces and thickens slightly, about 10-15 minutes. While the sauce simmers, preheat the broiler and cook the rice according to package directions.
4. When the sauce is thickened and the rice is ready, broil the chicken pieces for about 5 minutes, until they begin to brown and caramelize. To serve, spoon rice into shallow bowls, top with chicken, and pour sauce over.
* = my additions
photo credit - NY Times