Faux Fried Chicken with Thai Jaew dipping sauce
Last night I wasn't interested in cooking anything elaborate. I turned to my good old stand by Faux Fried Chicken as inspired by one of my favorite blogs, Just Bento. It's so simple but incredibly tasty and juicy. This dish is in constant rotation because it's easy, requires hardly any ingredients, pairs well with anything you want to throw at it, and reheats very nicely.
At first, the long cooking times made me quite skeptical since I abhor dry chicken. But the skin keeps the chicken very moist. Also the long salting times flavors the interior of the meat and helps to retain moisture during cooking.
The most most important tip is to LINE the baking sheet with parchment paper before you start cooking. If not the fat will burn and smoke on the pan.
Speaking of fat, I always cook my chicken on a rack so the meat doesn't sit in a pool of rendered fat. And there will be a pool of fat at the bottom of the pan - a good half cup for 2 lbs of chicken. You can drain this off when you flip the chicken and save for a later use.
I take an extra step and debone my chicken thighs. This makes it easier to eat after it's cooked. But the bone doesn't change the cooking time too much - just add in an extra 7 minutes per side. Here's a quick video on how to debone chicken thighs while keeping the skin on. Sorry about the audio and the first bit is a little blurry but it gets better.
Speaking of throwing something on this chicken. I made a new Thai inspired dipping sauce to spice things up. And boy was it WONDERFUL. My Thai counterpart gave it the nod of approval too! It's a breeze to whip together and very low calories. Check out this lovliness:
|~ Jaew dipping sauce ~|
drool, just look at all that tastiness
Faux Fried Chicken with Jaew Recipe
For Chicken: 2.47 calories per gram (cooked)
- 2 lbs skin on chicken thighs
- 2 T kosher salt
For Jaew sauce: 0.689 calories per gram without tamarind; 0.701 calories per gram with tamarind
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (31 calories)
- 1/2 cup Thai fish sauce (50 calories)
- 2 teaspoon brown sugar (23 calories)
- 2 tablespoons finely-chopped fresh cilantro (0 calories)
- 1 tablespoons finely-chopped green onions, 1 medium stalk (2 calories)
- 1 T thinly sliced shallots, 1 small section (7 calories)
- 2 tablespoons toasted rice powder* (84 calories)
- 1 tablespoon dried red pepper powder (24 calories)
- 1 tsp Tamarind pulp - optional (6 calories)
Prepping Chicken - at least 30 minutes ahead of time:
- Debone chicken thighs, if desired.
- Sprinkle each side liberally with salt. Don't worry - your chicken won't be overly salty.
- Place chicken on a rack over a rimmed baking sheet skin side up.
- Place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, 2 -3 hours would be preferable.
Making the sauce:
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
- Taste and adjust with more fish sauce if more flavor or salt is needed or if the taste is too sour. Add more sugar if it's too spicy.
- Tip: I didn't have enough lime juice so I mixed in lemon juice and it was just fine. Also, if you don't like cilantro, you can replace with flat leaf parsley and it will be ok but not the same.
- Remove chicken from refrigerator.
- Preheat oven to 400°F
- Discard any juices that have dripped from chicken. Wash and line rimmed baking sheet.
- Put rack of chicken back on lined baking sheet. If you don't have a rack to cook on, it's ok just blot after cooking and reduce cooking time by 8 minutes each side.
- Flip chicken skin side down, cook in oven for 25 minutes. The skin should release form the rack easily. IF it sticks, let it cook 5 more minutes.
- Flip skin side up, cook for another 25 minutes or until the skin is bubbly and crisp.
- Let rest 5 minutes and serve.