Thursday, June 28, 2007

Kao Mok Gai (a.k.a. Thai-Style Chicken Biriyani)

Or as we will be calling this in our household, Thai Chicken and Rice. This came from Saveur, who got it from "Nancie McDermott's seminal cookbook Real Thai." It was simple and delicious.

I originally planned to make this over the weekend but when felled by a virus had to adapt plans for after work yesterday. I skipped the marinating time and didn't skin the chicken (no time!) ... it was simply wonderful.

Step 1
1-1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper (I used plain old black pepper)
6 shallots, roughly chopped
5 cloves garlic
1 5"-inch piece fresh peeled ginger, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup water

In a blender, combine all, puree to a paste.

Step 2

6 skinless chicken thighs, halved crosswise through the bone (I used regular whole thighs)
6 skinless chicken drumsticks

Toss chicken and spice paste together in a large bowl to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature to let marinate for 1 hour.

Step 3
2 tablespoons peanut oil

Heat oil in a large wide pot over medium-high heat. Add chicken and all the spice paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until paste is deeply caramelized and the chicken is just beginning to brown, 12-14 minutes.

Step 4
2-1/2 cups jasmine rice
2-1/4 cups water

Add rice to pot and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1-2 minutes. Add salt to taste (I used a couple of teaspoons or so) and water; bring to a boil while stirring occasionally. Cover pot, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until rice is just tender and chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes. Remove pot from heat and let sit undisturbed for 15 minutes. Uncover and, using a fork, gently toss together the chicken and rice.

Step 5
2 kirby cucumbers, trimmed and thinly sliced
Thai-style chile sauce, such as Sriracha

Serve immediately with cucumbers and chile sauce on the side.

UPDATE - we prefer it with these pickles instead of plain cucumbers. Got it from Cooking Light.

1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 cup 1/8”-thick English cucumber slices
Bring all except cucumbers to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from heat; add cucumber slices. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Drain.

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