Thai Chicken and Rice (Khao Mun Gai)

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In 2019, Thai chicken and rice shops started popping up in the Bay Area.  Thai Chicken and Rice is the Thai version of the popular Hainanese chicken rice.  There’s even a popular Vietnamese version called Com Ga Hai Nam.  The Vietnamese version is generally served with a gingery prepared fish sauce and fresh herbs like Vietnamese coriander (rau ram) or mint.

After researching this dish a bit more, I’ve learned that this is a popular street food in Thailand.   What made this dish stand out to me when I first tried it was the simplicity of the dish utilizing all parts of the chicken…poached tender chicken and cucumbers over rice that is sauteed with the chicken fat and chicken broth.  Also, I LOVE the ultra flavorful sauce.  At first, there was an ingredient in the sauce that I did not recognize and never tasted before, which made it so addictive.  I later learned that the sauce is made using Thai fermented soybean paste.  The unique and pungent taste of the fermented soy beans elevates the sauce and pairs well with the chicken.

This is my adaptation of the Thai chicken and rice.  I hope you enjoy.

Ingredients:

Chicken
1 Whole Chicken (4-5 Pounds)
6 cups of water
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups of Jasmine Rice,rinsed
4 Green Onions
1 Ginger (~ 4 inches)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoon salt
1 cucumber, sliced diagonally

Sauce
2 tablespoons Thai soybean paste
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark sweet soy sauce
1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon ginger, smashed
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
2 Thai chilies, finely chopped (Optional)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Steps:

Boil Chicken – Fill up a large stockpot with 6 cups of water and 6 cups of chicken broth. Add green onion, ginger, and salt and bring to a boil.  Clean whole chicken, remove goodies from the inside, and trim off excess fat and set aside. When the liquid boils, add chicken and let boil for about 8-10 minutes. Remove impurities floating to the top. Put a lid on stockpot, turn off the heat, and cook the chicken in the broth for 45-50 minutes.

Rest Chicken – After 45-50 minutes, removed the chicken from the large stock pot and placed in a bowl of ice water for about 5 minutes to stop the cooking process. Remove chicken and pat dry.  Reserve the remaining chicken broth for cooking rice and serving soup on the side.

Make Rice – Heat a small skillet on medium-low and render down the fat of a few pieces of excess chicken skin.  Once the chicken fat rendered for about 10 minutes, remove the chicken skin and fry the rice until lightly browned and fragrant. Once the rice is lightly browned, add the minced garlic and stir around for 30 seconds. Place rice in the rice cooker with the chicken broth and cook until tender.

Make Sauce – In a mortar and pestle, pound ginger, garlic, and kosher salt into a paste. Add soybean paste, soy sauce, dark sweet soy sauce,and lime juice and mix well. Add chopped cilantro and Thai chilies and mix again. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Serve Chicken and Rice – Scoop rice onto a plate.  Add sliced chicken and cucumber on the plate.  Serve with a side of sauce and chicken broth. Eat!

Tips:

  • Trim off excess fat and render the fat down to fry the rice before cooking the rice.
  • After chicken finish cooking, you can gently brush chicken with some oil to make the skin shinier.
  • If you do not have a mortar and pestle, simply finely mince the ginger, garlic to make the sauce.
  • The amount of chicken broth used to cook the rice depends on how much you normally use to cook a pot of rice.
  • For the remaining chicken broth used for the side soup, you can add sliced carrots or daikon and simmer until tender.

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