Chicken in hot and sour coconut broth
I made this dish randomly and without aim a couple weeks ago and really enjoyed it, so I thought I’d share it.
Despite its gentle-mannered appearance, this soup will slap you out of your winter slumber if you so underestimate it. Marinated and crispy-browned chickens in an aromatic Thai-style coconut broth that is almost too sour, almost too spicy, almost too salty that the corners of my jaws received it just as much as my tongue. But only almost almost almost, because in the end I realized I couldn’t stop drinking it, this warming dish that sits right at the spearhead of all the sensations that our tastebuds could withstand and lingers there.
I know you’d love it, too. That’s all.
- 1.6 lbs (730 grams) bone-in chicken thighs, or breasts if preferred
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1/2 tbsp grated ginger
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 can (400 gams) coconut milk
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 3 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/4 + 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 lemongrass, smashed and cut into segments
- 20 grams (about 2 solid tbsp) galangal, sliced
- 6 large or 10 small makrut/kaffir lime leaves
- 3 red bird's eye chilis, finely diced
- 1 small shallot, peeled and quartered
- 3 thin slices of lemon
- Combine chicken thighs, 2 tbsp fish sauce, grated ginger, sea salt and ground black pepper in a shallow bowl, and let marinate for at least 1 hour or up to 6 hours. Heat a non-stick skillet (or the same pot you're going to cook the soup in if it is non-stick) with a little bit of vegetable oil over high heat, and brown the chickens skin-side down first until the skins are rendered, browned and crispy. Flip the chickens over and lightly brown the other side as well, then transfer to a plate, leaving the fat behind. The chicken will still be raw in the center but that's ok.
- In a pot, heat coconut milk, chicken stock, fish sauce and lemon juice, granulated sugar and ground black pepper over high heat until simmering. Add the chickens, all the juices, lemongrass, galangal, makrut lime leaves, bird's eye chilis, shallot and lemon slices. Keep the broth at a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Serve immediately.