Vietnamese Braised Lemon Grass Chicken | Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street

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In Vietnam, turmeric, garlic, chilies and fish sauce douse chicken with a riot of flavor

Vietnamese Braised Lemon Grass Chicken

Appears in May-June 2021

1 hour 30 minutes active

Vietnamese Braised Lemon Grass Chicken

In Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, home cook Phạm Thị Thanh Tâm taught us to make her version of braised chicken with lemon grass. Seasoned with turmeric, garlic, chilies and fish sauce—staple ingredients in the Vietnamese kitchen—the dish was remarkably simple, yet wonderfully aromatic and full of flavor. Instead of mincing fresh lemon grass, which requires a good amount of time and effort, we simply bruise the stalks so they split open and release their essential oils into the braising liquid; we remove and discard the stalks when cooking is complete. The soy sauce in the recipe is our own addition, a stand-in for the MSG and pork bouillon that Phạm used, and we opt to thicken the braising liquid with a little cornstarch to give the sauce just a little body. Serve the chicken with steamed jasmine rice.

4

Servings

Tip

Don’t leave the skin on the chicken. We want the bone, which adds flavor to the braise, but not the skin, which turns soggy with simmering and releases fat into the liquid. But bone-in thighs are almost always sold with skin, so we simply pull it off before cooking.

1 hour

30 minutes active

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