The bubbling clay pots served at Asian restaurants are always enticing, especially when their lids are removed to reveal the steamy, savory contents. If you don’t have a clay pot at home, you can still make your own version in a Dutch oven. Serve this easy braised chicken with Sautéed Bok Choy and some steamed rice to soak up the flavorful sauce.
Game plan: The chicken can be marinated up to a day in advance.
- Yield: 6 servings
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 3 hrs
- 3 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 ounces fresh ginger (about 1 [5-inch] piece), peeled and thinly sliced
- 4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 1 medium lime)
- 3 star anise pods
- 2 Thai red chiles, halved lengthwise
- 12 bone-in chicken thighs (about 4 pounds), skin removed
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Thai basil leaves or fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
- Steamed brown rice or steamed white rice, for serving
- Place the brown sugar and water in a large clay pot or Dutch oven with a tightfitting lid over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil; add the ginger, garlic, soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, star anise, and chiles; and stir to combine. Remove the pot from the heat and let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
- Add the chicken pieces and turn to coat in the marinade. Let sit at room temperature uncovered for 1 hour, or cover and marinate in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
- If covered, uncover the pot and place it over high heat. Add the chicken broth and onion and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the chicken is tender, about 1 hour.
- Remove the chicken to a serving plate. Increase the heat to medium and simmer vigorously until the sauce has slightly darkened in color and has reduced by about a third, about 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Garnish the chicken with cilantro and serve with the sauce and steamed rice.