Caramelized Ginger Chicken

  • 12 meaty chicken thighs, boned and trimmed with skins still on
  • 7 oz fresh ginger, peeled and finely shredded
  • 3 1/2 fl oz sunflower oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 fl oz caramel (see Note)
  • 4 large watercress sprigs, for garnish
  • Cut each chicken thigh into three equal pieces. Place in a large bowl with the ginger, two-thirds of the oil, and salt and pepper. Cover and marinate for about 6 hours in the refrigerator.

  • Heat a large, heavy-based frying pan and pour in the remaining oil. Fry until the meat is colored, about 2 minutes, then drain away the excess oil.

  • Add the fish sauce, cover the pan with a lid, and steam until the sauce has dissolved, about 1 minute.

  • Now add the prepared caramel to the pan and cook until the caramel has thickened and coated the chicken in a rich golden color, about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  • To serve, arrange the chicken pieces on a serving platter and garnish with watercress.

  • Note: To make caramel, place 2/3 cup sugar in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, add 4 tablespoons water, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Leave to caramelize, about 10-15 minutes. The caramel will reach a temperature of almost 180 degrees F, so care and attention are required. To caramelize sugar correctly, invest in a proper sugar thermometer. Do not leave the pan unattended when sugar is caramelizing.

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