500g chicken thighs, skin and bones removed
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
3 shallots, sliced
3 lemongrass stalks, crushed and chopped
1 green chilli, deseeded and sliced
1 red capsicum, deseeded and sliced
1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
1 tbsp fish sauce
70ml chicken stock
1 tbsp rock sugar, grated
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp cornflour
1 tbsp vegetable oil
TO SERVE: Jasmine rice and coriander leaves.
1Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add chicken, combine well, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2Heat oil in a large frying pan or wok over a high heat, add garlic, shallots and lemongrass and cook for 3-5 minutes until shallots and garlic soften.
3Reduce heat to medium, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, add chilli, capsicum and carrot and cook for further 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4Remove chicken from refrigerator, then add chicken and marinade ingredients to frying pan and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add fish sauce, stock and sugar and cook, stirring, for further 3-5 minutes or until chicken is cooked and sauce has thickened.
5Serve with jasmine rice and garnish with coriander leaves.
The stereotypical Vietnamese ingredients are all here – garlic, lemongrass, chilli, fish sauce – along with a new entrant, capsicum. All of them combine to give freshness and a spicy lift to this classic chicken dish. And the wine? A white in the clean, fresh mould would be just the ticket. A semillon would work well enough, though perhaps just a little too lean and tight. Arneis is a delicious, crunchy white variety from the Roero area of Piedmont. Joel Pizzini’s exemplar is clean and refreshing; with its crisp Nashi pear flavours and underlying richness it’s a harmonious companion to this fragrant chicken dish.