One of my favorite things to make is Thai Crispy Chicken. But the ovens here in New York City are old and they always set off the fire alarm every time you preheat the oven so it becomes a nuisance to cook stuff using the oven.
So I decided to omit the rice flour step and deep-frying all together and, instead, I braised them. They make not look as nice as the crispy kind, but they are just as tasty and as aromatic as the baked ones.
- 6 large or 12 small chicken drumsticks
- ½ head garlic, finely minced
- 2 cups cilantro, finely minced
- 2 TBS cayenne pepper
- 2 TBS brown sugar
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 2 TBS dark Chinese soy sauce
- EVOO or canola oil
Cut slits into the drumsticks and massage the finely minced garlic and cilantro into the chicken. Then transfer to a large bowl and add the other ingredients (cayenne pepper, brown sugar, soy sauces). Mix well. Let chicken marinate for an hour at room temperature.
In a big pan on high heat, heat the oil and then place drumsticks in and sear on both sides for 30 seconds each. Then pour remaining marinade mixture over the drumsticks and enough water to fill half-way over the drumsticks. Wait until water boils and then turn heat to medium-low. Braise for 30-40 minutes. The bubbles breaking the water should be very low energy. The lower the energy, the more tender the meat will become.
Glaze (optional): strain out the garlic and cilantro particles from the marinade mixture and put back on low heat, add some corn starch, mix well, and pour over the chicken.