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Caramelized Black Pepper Chicken

goop

What you always wish takeout will taste like but it sadly never does. Serve with jasmine or brown rice and stir-fried or steamed veggies.

Makes 4

⅔ cup dark brown sugar (unrefined)

⅓ cup fish sauce

⅓ cup rice vinegar

½ cup water

2 teaspoons finely grated garlic

2 teaspoons finely grated ginger

2 teaspoons coarsely ground pepper

1 or 2 fresh Thai chilies (to your taste!), halved

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 shallots, thinly sliced

2 pounds organic boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into ½-inch pieces

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro

1. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, fish sauce, vinegar, water, garlic, ginger, pepper, and chilies. Reserve.

2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat and cook the shallots until softened and a bit brown, about 3 minutes.

3. Add the chicken and stir-fry, browning it all over, about a minute.

4. Add the sugar mixture and simmer over high heat until the chicken is totally cooked through, about 6 minutes.

5. Stir in the cilantro and serve.

Adapted from Charles Phan’s Caramelized Black Pepper Chicken published in Food & Wine, December 1998.

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