JOIN! 12 Weeks for $1

Burmese Chicken

4 Servings

30 minutes

Made This Recipe? Write a Review.
Thank you for submitting your review! A member of our team is confirming the review meets our site's Community Guidelines. It will be posted on the site shortly.

Food writer and photographer Naomi Duguid’s stunning books provide keen insight into the people and foods of the countries she visits. One of our favorites, “Burma,” includes a terrific recipe called Aromatic Chicken from the Shan Hills. It’s simple, yet has deep flavor. We wanted to finesse things to make this even faster and easier for the home cook. We swapped in boneless thighs for Duguid’s bone-in chicken and switched to a Dutch oven instead of a wok. She suggests a mortar and pestle, but we used a blender to make a paste of lemon grass, garlic, ginger and shallots. This meant we could skip a marinade and let the chicken season as it cooked. A dose of red pepper flakes added moderate heat, but traditional Burmese food can be fairly spicy; if you want more heat, increase the red pepper flakes or stir in a slivered jalapeño, serrano or bird’s eye chili with the cilantro. We liked the chicken over steamed rice or thin rice noodles.




Don’t use the fibrous outer layers of the lemon grass. You want only the white, slightly tender (but still firm) inner bulb. Trim the root and all but the bottom 5 inches of the stalk, then peel off the first few layers. If you buy lemon grass in a plastic clamshell container, it likely already has been trimmed.

30 minutes


  • 8

    ounces plum tomatoes (2 large), quartered

  • 4

    tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil, divided


Pardon the interruption

You need to be a Milk Street Digital Member to see the full recipe


and get access to all of our recipes and articles online, as well as in print.

How we use your email.

Your email address is required to identify your subscription. We will use it for customer service as well as other communications from Milk Street. We will not share, or rent your email address.

Alex V.
April 18, 2024
When my wife is like.... almost speachless and what speach she has is nice.... you have done a good job with chicken. This is plate licking good. I subbed the lemongrass paste. Amazing winner.
Alexandra V.
November 2, 2023
Flavor explosion!
This was such an interesting dish to make. The flavors were so pronounced and they blended together very well. The ginger stands out the most, so if you’re a ginger lover, try this recipe!
Lindsey M.
October 10, 2023
This was requested to be in regular rotation. Big hit! I don't have a food processor, so I used my Vitamix. It just entailed adding a tablespoon of water to get it all mixing properly. Really love this one. Thanks!!
Mary K.
July 9, 2022
Easy and tasty.
Tanya R.
July 12, 2023
Side dish Q and alt for cilantro?
What would be a good side veg (and with what seasonings) to pair with this? Also, I usually sub parsley for cilantro, but I’m wondering if basil might be nice instead. Thoughts? Thanks!
Summers H.

This was easy and delicious! I added about 1/3 can of coconut milk at the end because my spice paste remained very paste-y. I suppose that moves this more towards a curry but it was delicious nonetheless.

Kate L.

This is so flavorful and easy to make. Loved it and will definitely make again.

Armie L.

This is delicious although it was a bit too salty. I will cut on the salt next time. If it needs saltiness later, perhaps I can just use fish sauce. There was lots of leftover paste, planning to use fried/baked tofu to recycle the paste instead of chicken breast.

John J C.

Same here, very salty. 177MS recipes are usually spot on so I double checked and I followed exactly. I think I could drop the salt one full teaspoon.
And, yes, I used kosher not table.
other than that, it was a good quick meal. I doubled the pepper flakes but didn't have lemon grass or zest to add so I added some lime zest along with the juice at the finish.

Elana S.

Delicious but too salty. I repeated the recipe with half the salt and it was perfect.

Ridgely F.

Thank you for your comment! Your comment is currently under moderation and will appear shortly.

Christos K.

Agreed, glad to see comments finally introduced as after the first time I made this the salt was a punch to the face! I promptly wished to warn other because outside of that this is one of my favourite recipes on the site. I ended up going to 1/3 salt.

Shannon J.

This is one of the best chicken dishes I’ve ever made. Absolutely glorious. I believe they developed this recipe with Diamond Crystal kosher salt; if you use Morton’s definitely cut the salt in half. So, so good.

Lynn C.

Hi All -

This recipe was developed with Diamond Crystal kosher salt which is about twice as much by volume as Morton's kosher (or table salt). We are in the process of updating all recipes to reflect the switch to Morton's kosher for recipe development across the board. We have just updated this one to reflect the correct amount of Morton's kosher. Sorry for the confusion!

The Milk Street Team

Beki T.

Right now, there is no amount at all listed next to Kosher salt.

stephanie e.

wondering why you are switching to Morton's Kosher salt. All recipes I find in books and on-line are with Diamond K salt when using Kosher salt. Just curious...

Lynn C.

Hi Stephanie -

You can find the reasoning behind our switch in this article -

The Milk Street Team


Is it 1 Tsp Turmeric, or 2 Tsp Turmeric? The general recipe says it calls for 2 Tsp, but the step by step only mentions 1.

Lynn C.

Hi Lake -

You are correct. The main page lists 2 teaspoons turmeric - the correct amount - and the step-by-step only listed 1 teaspoon. We've corrected the step-by-step.

The Milk Street Team

elizabeth b.

Great recipe! A little too spicy (ginger) for my toddler though.