Chicken Rice Vietnamese Style-Cơm Gà Vietnam

Vietnamese food

This dish is similar like Arroz con Pollo, a classic dish of Spanish and Latin America.  It is a favorite dish of my family in-law.  I created this recipe for my kids of course and sharing with you.  No fancy, spendy saffron  but one of the best tasty rice I’ve ever tasted.  This recipe is adapted to my sister in-law’s version who is kindly enough to create a recipe for me here.

Vietnamese version from Minh Thu

   Mua 1 con gà ta khoảng 1k4.  Đem về chặt khoảng 6 hoặc 8 miếng.Ướp vào 2 muổng cafe tỏi bầm.2m cf hành băm.1/3 muổng ngu vi huong.2 muong muoi.3 muong duong.2 muong bot ngot.De khoang 1 den 2 tieng cho tham.Sau do dem chien cho vang.Ca chua khoang 6 trai mua do chin.Bam nho xao cho vao chao 3 muong canh dau an.xao 1 chut cho vao 1 muong cafe muoi.1 muong canh duong cho co mau dep.Nau com do nuoc vao ca chua da xao .cho nuoc soi nhieu cho ga vao .cho soi lai do gao vao roi canh nuoc.Nho dung de nhao kg ngon.Gao vo sach de kho rao.Bat chao cho vao 3 muong canh dau dap 1 mieng gung nho va 3 tep toi phi thom cho gao vao rang kh 10 phut.
   An com ga kem voi hanh tay thai mong vua ngam dam va duong.xa lach.ca chua.Nuoc mam pha 2 muong nuoc mam.2 m duong .1 m dam.2m nuoc.

English version from Kim Pham

Make 2-3 servings
2 cups uncooked jasmine rice, soak in water
2 chicken quarters (thigh and drumstick) about 2 lbs
1/2 tsp Vietnamese Five spice
1/2 +1 tsp sugar
1/4+1/2 tsp salt
1/2 + 1/8  tsp ground black pepper
4 plum tomatoes about 3/4 lb, peeled, chopped
3garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
3 shallot, coarsely chopped
1 tsp crushed ginger
1 cup water or chicken broth
1 head of Lettuce, wash and break into bite size
2 tomatoes, 1 cucumber, washed, thinly sliced
A few sprigs of cilantro for garnish
2 Tbs vegetable oil 
Dipping sauce and sweet, sour onion slices to serve

Sweet and Sour Onion Slices
1/2 small yellow, or sweet onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup water
1 Tbs vinegar
1 Tbs sugar
Combine all the ingredients together and refrigerate until serve.
Dipping sauce:  nuoc mam pha
1 garlic clove, finely crushed
1 small red hot Thai chili, thinly sliced
2 Tbs fish sauce (I use three crabs brand)
2 Tbs water
2 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs vinegar
Mix all ingredients together and let it mingles for at least 15 minutes.
The rice
1.   Wash, rinse and soak rice in plenty of water.  Set aside
2.  If you have a cleave, chop the chicken at the joint: separate the drumstick and the thigh.  Keep the drumsticks whole, and cut the thighs into two pieces along the bone.  If you want to chop it into smaller pieces, make sure to check and remove all the little bone fragments which are very dangerous specially for the kids.  Trim excess skin and loose fat around the thighs but keep the skin enough to cover the meat to keep them moist and add flavor to the rice.  Marinade with 1/2 tsp five spice, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, and 1/2 of garlic and shallot at least 15 minutes or overnight.
3.  Remove the stem, sticker, and wash tomato.  Cut an  small X at the top of each tomato, put them in boiling water for 30 seconds.  When the skin starts to peel off, remove from boiling water and put into cool water.  Peel off the skin and chop them coarsely.  Do not need to remove seeds but if you preferred. Put into a bowl.  Set aside.  Drain rice at this time.
4.  Heat 1 Tbs oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat, add chicken skin side down first.  Sear until well browned all sides about 10-12 minutes total.  Turning when brown about 2-3 minutes one sides.  Adjust heat if needed.  Remove chicken from the pan, cover.  Pour off and reserve all fat except 1 Tbs (the extra fat is  from the chicken fat rendered during frying ).
5.  Add 1/2 of the remaining garlic, shallot, and ginger.  Stir until fragrant, add rice to the pan.  Stir constantly over medium high heat with a spatula.  The rice will get sticky and stuck together first, then get drier and separated.  If they are browning too quick lower the heat down to medium.  Keep stirring until some of the rice get a transparent look and some turn dry opaque white.  Some rice can pick up some tan color but not brown. Remove from the pan. Cover set aside.
6. Add 1 Tbs reserved fat to the pan and add the rest garlic and onion.  Stir until fragrant,  add tomato.  Season with 1 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp ground black pepper.  Omit salt if you use chicken broth.  Simmer until tomato slightly thickened.  Add 1 cup water or chicken broth, bring back to a boil.  Stir in the rice, the water should just barely cover the rice.  Add chicken in an even layer, cover tightly.  Turn down the heat to medium low to keep simmering.  Recheck in 15 minutes, fluff the rice.  The rice has to be dried like fried rice and soft through out without any hard core.  Test by squeeze them between two fingers.  If not done, cover and recheck in 5 to 10 more minutes.  If need to raise the heat up a little bit.   Before serving   put the the chicken pieces directly atop of the bottom of the pan and increase the heat to medium for a few minutes until the skin is brown and crisp more if you prefer.

7.  Scoop rice and chicken into an individual serving plate, arrange sliced tomato, cucumber, and lettuce around.  Garnish with cilantro.  Serve with dipping sauce and sweet/sour onion slices

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