Vietnamese Comfort Food: Honey Ginger Glazed Chicken

Now that my little guy is able to eat most things, I am making a conscious effort to provide him access to one of my favorite experiences growing up Vietnamese American; the food. In the United States, when we hear the term “comfort food” it is usually referring to something like grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, mac and cheese, or chicken soup. Well, for me comfort food invokes images of canh (Vietnamese soup), chao ga( Vietnamese rice porridge with chicken), or thit ga xao ot (chicken sautéed with ginger and some chili peppers. That is my comfort food and I hope to make that a similar childhood memory for my little guy.

I finally had a chance to try out the Honey Ginger Glazed Chicken recipe I found on food.com. It was delicious! If you click the link above, it will take you to the original recipe. I had to adjust the recipe a bit to make it palatable for my little guy.

Here’s the recipe I used. The changes I made are italicized and explanations as to why I made the changes next to it.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 large onion, cut into slices-I made this change so the onion doesn’t overpower the glaze. He’s not a big fan of onions.
1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 tablespoon of minced garlic-I used preminced garlic to save time but also lessened the amount of garlic in fear it might turn off the little guy.
1 tablespoon minced ginger-In the interest of time and to make it easier for the little guy to eat I used a hand blender to mince the ginger.
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro-I wanted a little taste of cilantro included in every few bites.

Directions:

1 Heat oil in the wok.
2 Add onion and stir-fry until golden.
3 Add chicken and stir-fry until browned.
4 Add the garlic, ginger, honey, fish sauce, soy sauce, and five-spice powder.
5 Toss to combine.
6 Cook and stir chicken and glazeon medium to high heat for about five minutes then bring heat to low, cover and allow to simmer for 10 minutes until chicken is nicely glazed and heated through.-I had the chicken and glaze on low heat simmering to make the chicken softer and easier to eat for the little one.
7. Place on serving platter and garnish with chopped cilantro.

Here is the result:

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I served the chicken with sautéed green beans and brown rice. For the brown rice I added an extra 1/4 water and purposely made the rice a bit “mushier” for my little guy. As you can see, my mister and I have adapted our food to fit what our little guy can currently eat. It is much easier as a working mom to adjust our eating habits than to cook two different meals, one for us and one for him (or in our case, because I am mostly a vegetarian and my mister and little guy are not, I do not want to cook three meals each evening).

While cooking, the smell immediately brought me back to my childhood. Me in the kitchen helping prep food while my mom managed to whip together delicious meals each night. I hope this post is just the beginning of the many Vietnamese dishes I will cook in the future. In the meantime, check out my Vietnamese recipes Pinterest board to see what might be next on the menu.

What’s your comfort food?

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