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Yes, she baked for the Queen of England.
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.
tablespoon grapeseed or other neutral oil
medium garlic cloves, minced
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