Back in November, I introduced a little poll on the sidebar of this blog where you can vote for which recipe you’d like to see next. I started with five recipes that I thought you might like — tom yum goong, pla goong (spicy shrimp salad), massaman curry, khao man gai (chicken and rice), and a sticky rice with custard dessert — but I had no idea it would be such a close race!
The spicy shrimp salad was the clear winner at first, but then tom yum goong pulled ahead. Massaman curry and khao man gai then started gaining votes as the month went on and, for a while, it was a toss up between these three. But in the end, khao man gai pulled ahead and won by two votes! Talk about suspense! :)
So after khao man gai had finally emerged as the winner, I started working on the recipe. I actually already had a whole chicken in my freezer, just waiting for the day that I would make this dish! After thawing it, I boiled the chicken with a little salt and some cilantro roots to cook the chicken and make a simple chicken broth. If you don’t have cilantro roots, that’s okay, but if you can find them, they add a nice subtle flavor to the broth.
Once the chicken was cooked and broth was made, it was time to start on the rice. The rice that accompanies this dish is jasmine, but instead of cooking it with water, you use the chicken broth you just made. Then you add fried garlic, fresh ginger, cilantro roots (again, if you can find them), and some salt and/or ground white pepper to really boost the flavor.
But although the rice is more flavorful than plain jasmine rice, the real flavor of this dish comes from the dipping sauce. It’s made from a combination of Thai peppers, ginger, and garlic in a soybean paste based sauce and wow, it packs a punch. One spoonful of this spicy ginger sauce ladled on top of a piece of moist chicken sitting on a bed of garlicky, fatty rice… talk about awesome flavors! And then, just to round everything out, you make a simple soup of chicken broth and boiled gourd and slice some cucumbers to eat on the side.
Needless to say, the boyfriend and I really enjoyed our khao man gai, so we owe a big thank you to all of you for choosing this dish! And since our inaugural sidebar poll turned out so well, we’d like to continue this feature in the future. I’m currently gathering ideas for which recipes you’d like to see on the next poll, so please leave a comment here or on our Facebook page if there’s a particular Thai dish you’re craving! And in the meantime, I hope you enjoy this Thai chicken and rice dish as much as we have!