My first Vietnamese dining experience took place whilst I was living and studying in Hawaii back in 1995. Almost on a daily basis, I would have their fried rice, bahn mi or sometimes, pho. I love Vietnamese food but rarely get to eat them these days because there are not that many eateries around me now that serve good Vietnamese cuisine. So, what do I do? I found myself an easy peasy, alternative mean and a cheap way to make an amazingly delicious, non-vegetarian only meal!
Vietnamese Braised Chicken with Hard-Boiled Eggs
1 kg whole chicken, skin on, cut into 16 pieces
90 ml tender coconut water
1.5 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1.5 tablespoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons salt
First, boil a large pot of water that is big enough to fit the chicken. Once the water is boiling, place the chicken into the pot for 2 minutes to remove all impurities. Please remember not to cook the chicken through here or longer than the time suggested! This process is purely to remove impurities. Next, drain the water and rinse the chicken under cold running water and return it to the pot.
Then, add the tender coconut water, dark soy and fish sauce as well as salt into the pot. Fill the pot up with water until it covers all the chicken. Now, turn the heat on the stove back to high till the water boils and then, turn the heat down to medium and set the timer for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Cover the pot with a lid but leave it slightly ajar.
Whilst you have the chicken in the pot cooking, boil the eggs. Once done, pour out the hot water, remove the shells under cold running water, cool it down and then poke it gently with a fork all over so it can absorb all that delicious flavor into it later.
Once the timer is up, add the eggs into the pot of chicken. Turn on the timer for another 30 minutes and this time, remove the lid and turn the heat on high. At this point, we want to make sure we reduce the broth down to half from where we started. If you think the meat has cooked nicely and you do not wish to overcook it, remove the pot from the heat and transfer the broth into another pot and reduce the broth separately on the stove with the heat on high. Once done, add it back to the meat and serve it with plain white rice. In my case, I serve mine with basmati rice! ENJOY!!!
(Recipe inspired from Hungry Huy)