Caramelized Chicken Thighs with Gingered Scallion Confit
Dark and alluring sweet flavors of caramel are blended with spicy Sriracha, tangy rice vinegar, zingy ginger, salty soy sauce, and the umami of fish sauce in this generous recipe. Making a larger batch is worth your time; leftovers keep for days and reheat beautifully. Bring this tender braised chicken to a potluck with a bottle of The Cleaver and reap the praise.
Season chicken with salt and white pepper. Let rest in a large baking dish, while prepping the remaining ingredients. Measure ½ cup chicken stock and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the remaining stock, rice vinegar, soy sauce, Sriracha, and fish sauce. Whisk in the cornstarch until smooth. Set aside.
Heat a large, wide braising pot with a heavy bottom on medium high. Add the coconut oil. Working in 2 batches, sear the chicken thighs skin side down until golden brown and crisp, about 6–8 minutes. Carefully, turn chicken with tongs and cook 6-8 minutes more. Return chicken to the large baking dish. Repeat until all chicken in seared. Add garlic to pot and cook, stirring often until golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer the garlic to the chicken. Discard fat from pot.
For über crispy skin
Heat a large skillet, griddle or non-stick frying pan on medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Place drained chicken thighs skin side down, without crowding the pan. You might have to cook in batches, depending on the amount of servings. Cook 4-6 minutes until skin is crisp. Turn chicken with tongs. Cook until warmed through about 2-4 minutes. Serve on a pool of the reduced sauce with steamed rice and Gingered Scallion Confit. Garnish with cilantro leaves. Pass the Sriracha.
Return pot to medium-high heat. Add the reserved ½ cup stock, scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add palm or dark brown sugar, stirring until it is fragrant and golden about 2-3 minutes. Avoid burning the sugar. Quickly whisk in the liquid-cornstarch mixture, cooking until sugar dissolves, about 2-3 minutes. Add the ginger and the cilantro stems. Place chicken, skin side up and garlic into the pot. Bring to a boil. Cover and turn heat down to low. Simmer chicken 25-30 minutes or until tender.
Remove chicken thighs onto a clean platter. Cover with foil. Discard the coins of ginger and cilantro stems. Bring cooking liquid to a boil. Turn heat down to medium. Cook until thick enough to coat a spoon, about 6 to 8 minutes. Return chicken to pot. Turn to coat in sauce. Serve with rice.
Optional: Garnish chicken thighs with Gingered Scallion Confit and Cilantro leaves. Pass the Sriracha.
- Make the Gingered Scallion Confit in advance to simplify preparation time
- Use good quality fish sauce from Red Boat or Magic Chef, it’s less pungent
Gingered Scallion Confit Directions
Call it explosive if you like. This intensely flavor packed condiment will stir things up in your pantry. Just a small spoonful of this bold compound will make your taste buds wild for the love of ginger. Try it on steamed or grilled fish. Soup up your noodles or rice bowls with it. Add a small dollop to your dipping sauce for dumplings. In barbecue sauce for pork, it is phenomenal. Caramelized Chicken Thighs + Gingered Scallion Confit invoke a transcendent experience.
In the bowl of the food processor fitted with the cutting blade, grind the ginger until it is minced. In a medium saucepan on low heat, warm the oil. Add the minced ginger, sliced scallions and Serrano peppers with the salt to the oil. Cook on low for 15 to 20 minutes. Add chili oil, Ponzu or Soy sauce, and rice vinegar. Stir and remove from heat. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. Cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Keeps 1 week.