Caramel Chicken: “Don’t be put off by the sugar in this recipe—it’s balanced by the vinegar and soy sauce.”
Bon Appetit Magazine, October 2013
This recipe reflects the fact that I doubled most of the sauce ingredients, because my gut told me that the pan might get too dry during cooking. I might be wrong, but I didn’t want to find out.
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 ½ pound skin-on, bone-in chicken legs and/ or thighs
- Kosher Salt (as needed)
- 8 clove garlic (peeled)
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar (packed)
- ½ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
- 4 ¼”-thick slices peeled ginger
- 2 cup chicken broth
- ½ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 2 scallions (thinly sliced)
- Cooked white rice (as needed for serving)
Heat oil in a large wide heavy pot over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and, working in 2 batches, cook until golden brown and crisp, 6–8 minutes per side; transfer to a plate. Add garlic to pot and cook, stirring often, until golden, about 2 minutes; transfer to plate with chicken. Pour off fat from pot.
Return pot to medium-high heat and add ½ cup water, scraping up browned bits. Add brown sugar; stir to dissolve, then cook, stirring, until mixture thickens and turns a deep amber color, about 4 minutes. Carefully add vinegar (it may bubble up; sugar will crystallize); stir to dissolve sugar.
Add ginger, broth, and soy sauce; cook until slightly reduced, about 4 minutes. Add chicken, skin side up, and garlic. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer gently until chicken is cooked through, 20–25 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and loosely cover foil to keep warm.
Bring cooking liquid to a boil and cook until thick enough to coat a spoon, about 10 to 12 minutes. Return chicken to pot; turn to coat. Top with scallions and serve with rice.