Caramelized Black Pepper Chicken
What you always wish take-out will taste like but sadly never does. Serve with jasmine or brown rice and stir-fried or steamed veggies.
2/3 cup dark brown sugar (unrefined)
1/3 cup fish sauce
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons finely grated garlic
2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
2 teaspoons coarsely ground pepper
1 or 2 fresh thai chilis (to your taste!), halved
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 pounds organic boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces (1/2″)
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro
1. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, fish sauce, vinegar, water, garlic, ginger, pepper and chili. 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.