For my fried chicken dish, I was looking for that distinctive sweet and salty flavor found in Vietnamese caramel sauce. This sauce is made from sugar, fish sauce, shallots and black pepper. Marinading chicken thighs with this gives the chicken a unique taste!
Here's the recipe:
Fried Chicken in Caramel Marinade
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
caramel sauce marinade
3 cilantro sprigs
oil for frying
Caramel sauce marinade:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/8 cup water
freshly ground black pepper
3 shallots, sliced thinly
Place the sugar in a cast iron skillet over low heat and cook it until sugar turns light brown in color. Remove skillet from the heat and stir in the water and fish sauce. Return skillet over low heat and keep stirring until sugar crystals are completely dissolved. Add shallots and black pepper and let the sauce gently simmer for 2 minutes. Immediately take out the sauce from the heat and allow to cool completely.
Marinade chicken thighs in the caramel sauce for at least 30 minutes (if marinating longer, do this in the fridge). When ready to fry the chicken, make sure your oil is hot enough by dropping a piece of bread into the hot oil. If it sizzles upon contact, the oil is ready. Fry the chicken thighs till fully cooked but still juicy. Sprinkle lime juice over cooked fried chicken and serve immediately with freshly steamed rice and cilantro sprigs. If you make extra caramel sauce (not used as marinade!!) you can drizzle some of this over the fried chicken. Yummy!