Simple, spicy meal uses few ingredients
taste the sauce just as it finished reducing, I temporarily forgot that boiling sugar is the cooking equivalent of molten lava and burned my tongue. I tweeted the sad results of my impatience, likely looking for sympathy. What I got instead was someone asking for the recipe. (It’s even so easy, it can be given in 140 characters.)
And then, since I thought I should share it even more widely, I decided to do some sleuthing to see if it did have an original somewhere other than my own recipe folder. It does. My Sticky Thai Chicken is originally a Donna Hay recipe that appears to have been around for almost 10 years. Her method differs from the one I had to create in the absence of instructions. And, of course, I had to add garlic because, well, I just have a thing for garlic.
Chile, ginger, lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar: They’re all things I almost always have on hand in one form another. (Sure, in a pinch, I’ve swapped slices of fresh red chili for a squirt of Sriracha or dollop of Sambal Olek. And sometimes I’ll use ginger paste when the fresh stuff I have has become wrinkly and unrecognizable; if I’ve forgotten the trick of peeling it, then wrapping tightly and throwing in the freezer.) That means, this is one of those recipes that I can pull out of my back pocket after long days or when there doesn’t appear to be the makings of dinner in the fridge and cupboards.
With some rice and steamed greens, it’s a complete and completely tasty meal.
Sticky Thai Chicken
No fresh red chilies? No problem, just add a bit of chili paste with the garlic. Spice lovers, double up on the chilies (or triple, if you really want to add some heat). This works just as well with thighs — which Donna Hay’s original recipe calls for — just use two per person. For cilantro haters, Thai basil or even a little bit of chopped mint is nice as a substitute. But no herbs are necessary. 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt 1 to 2 tbsp (15 to 30 mL) vegetable oil
1 red chili, sliced thinly
1 tbsp (15 mL) minced ginger 2 cloves garlic, minced 3 tbsp (45 mL) fresh lime juice
Lightly season the chicken with salt.
In a large pan set over mediumhigh heat, warm the oil until it shimmers, swirling so it coats the entire pan. Add the chicken breasts and saute until cooked through, turning once. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. Add the chili, ginger and garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 or 2 minutes. Pour in the lime juice and fish sauce and scrape up any of the delicious brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Let it come to a bit of a bubble and then add the brown sugar, stirring it until dissolved. Let the sauce cook, stirring frequently, until it reduces by half and is syrupy. Add the chicken back to the pan and spoon over the sauce until it coats the chicken.
Remove the pan from the heat and serve, spooning over the sauce and sprinkling with the cilantro. Serves 4.
Sticky Thai Chicken has a recipe simple enough to tweet. 3 tbsp (45 mL) fish sauce 1/3 cup (80 mL) brown sugar 2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped cilantro, optional