That is, sticky as in yummy!   Here’s yet another recipe from Fine Cooking that regularly returns to the Bewitching Kitchen.   Thighs are not the favorite piece of chicken for most Americans, but they rank high in my book because they’re always flavorful and tender.   Plus, any recipe by Joanne Weir gets my attention, and this one is a winner:  simple to prepare and packed with sticky, gooey  goodness.  Steam some white rice to go with it, and you’re all set!

(from Joanne Weir, published in Fine Cooking, Nov 2001)

1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/3 cup water
3 Tbs. rice-wine vinegar
2 Tbs. soy sauce
1 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 Tbs. peanut or vegetable oil
3 scallions  thinly sliced
8 chicken thighs, fat and skin removed  (bone in or boneless)
Cilantro sprigs for garnish

In a bowl, whisk the brown sugar, fish sauce, water, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, black pepper, and red pepper flakes.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the scallions and cook until soft, about 3 min. Add the thighs and the brown sugar mixture. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. As soon as it does, reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, turning the thighs occasionally, for 30 to 35 minutes.

Remove the thighs from the pan and cover with foil to keep warm. Increase the heat to high and reduce the sauce until it slightly thickens and resembles a bubbling caramel sauce. Pour the sauce over the chicken on a serving platter, add cilantro sprigs to decorate, and serve with white rice.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments: Our grocery store always has organic, boneless chicken thighs for sale at great prices  because not many people buy them, so I usually pick up a package once a week. When I’m in a huge hurry for dinner (say, on Tuesday evenings…) I opt for grilling  (expect my favorite recipe soon!).   But if dinner is proceeding at a more relaxed pace, then this recipe is just what the doctor ordered.

If you’re new to fish sauce, that powerfully smelling liquid sold in large bottles, don’t be afraid to bring some home – just don’t break the bottle in your car (it didn’t happen to me, but I read a sad tale about it years ago, and still live in fear of it).  Just like Worcestershire sauce in Caesar dressing, fish sauce gives complexity to many marinades and sauces. Some say it makes the best hamburger in the world, but unfortunately my beloved husband doesn’t agree …  😉


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5 thoughts on “A STICKY SITUATION

  1. So wonderful, so comforting and so familiar. I love the sweet/salty fish sauce and sugar combos. Reminds me a little of a Vietnamese dish I once saw on tv – it was garnished with little quails eggs. Chicken thighs are our favourite cut too, and I’m always astounded people would choose breast meat over them!


  2. Could not agree with you more! Thighs are juicy, so easy to prepare… breasts is another story, a couple of minutes too long and they get dry and chalky. And the meat itself, has very little taste – it’s the fat speaking, isn’t it? 😉

    thanks for stopping by, Celia!
    (I am giving serious consideration to the cake you posted…. )


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