Zak Pelaccio likes to wrangle big flavor from simple ingredients, and this dish is no exception. It may look unassuming, but trust us—it’s a veritable flavor bomb. Spicy ginger, fresh garlic, and salty fish sauce add savory depth to the chicken, and the crisp layer of golden rice on the bottom of the pot is good enough to fight over.
Put the chicken on a cutting board. Using a sharp cleaver or chef’s knife, disjoint the chicken into drumstick, thigh, wing, and split-breast pieces. Chop each breast half crosswise into 4 pieces (you’ll end up with 8 chicken breast pieces plus 2 wings, 2 thighs, and 2 drumsticks). Put the chicken in a large bowl and rub with 2 tsp. sea salt and the fish sauce mixture. Cover and refrigerate.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with a dishtowel and set it aside.
Put the rice in a large sieve, submerge the sieve in a large bowl of cold water and swish the rice with your fingers until the water turns milky. Lift the sieve out of the water, discard the water, and fill the bowl with fresh cold water. Repeat until the water is clear when the rice is swished, 2 to 3 more times. Shake as much water from the rice as possible and then turn it out onto the towel-lined pan. Spread the rice in an even layer and set it aside to dry completely, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Heat an 8-quart Dutch oven or other heavy-duty pot over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the oil and the rice, spreading it out into an even layer. Let the rice sit for 1 minute, stir, and let it sit for another minute. Repeat until the rice is somewhat translucent, 2 to 3 more times. Add the chicken broth and 1 cup water. Increase the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and cook for exactly 12 minutes.
Meanwhile, put the chiles in a small bowl and cover with the remaining 3 Tbs. fish sauce; set aside. Put the thinly sliced scallions in a small bowl and cover with the rice vinegar; set aside.
Arrange the drumsticks, thighs, and wings in a single layer on top of the rice. Cover the pot and cook for 10 minutes; then quickly add the breast pieces to the pot. Cover and cook until the chicken pieces are firm and spring back when lightly pressed, 40 to 45 minutes longer. Turn off the heat and bring the pot to the table.
Remove the scallion greens from the water, pat with a paper towel to dry, and put them in a small bowl. Uncover the chicken and rice and serve directly from the pot—be sure to serve each person some of the crusty, golden-brown rice from the bottom of the pot. Garnish with the scallion tops and serve with the chile-fish sauce and the scallion vinegar on the side.
TL;DR - Prep time, 1hr of chopping getting ready, 1hr to prep and cook rice when cheating, 1hr to pan-fry enough chicken to feed a family of four.Long review -I've had a few days to calm down about this recipe.First, the flavor is amazing. Second, it takes for-effing-ever to make. If you follow each instruction to the letter you are looking at a 4-5 hour process. If you're like me, and you can't start to cook dinner until you get the kids home from school and you get back from work, then you are looking at a 9p dinner time. TOO LONG!I ended up cutting corners on rice drying time, and pan fried the chicken instead of boring it into done-ness per the recipe's instructions.Cook at your own risk.
I agree with other reviewers, this was no where near done after 45 minutes. And the flabby skin is not at all edible. Really not very good; a bomb of a recipe, indeed
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