Caramelized Black Pepper Chicken
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.
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.
Originally featured in Pancakes, Tuna Sandwiches, and Black Pepper Chicken