Since the pandemic hit and lockdown became our new normal, my kids have been really missing their favorite Asian-inspired dishes. I get nearly a daily request to make some of their favorites. My go-to for healthyish asian-inspired meals is always Michelle Tam from Nom Nom Paleo. These Cantonese crispy chicken thighs scored me some big points with my son who claimed “these are possibly the best kosher Cantonese chicken thighs ever made.” Big props from a little kid. I’ll take it. Below is my version, with a few minor changes from the original recipe.
- 6 oz of thinly sliced shitake and/or oyster mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup thinly-sliced shallots (about 3 large)
- Kosher salt
- 7 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and cut into thin coins
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup broth (I didn’t have any of my own so I used the vegetarian Better than Bouillon as recommended by the amazing chef Samin Nosrat on her new podcast Home Cooking)
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- ¼ cup sliced green onions/scallions
- ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro (In my case I was out of cilantro and used parsley. It was good but I would recommend cilantro if you have it).
1. Pre-heat the oven to 450°F with the rack in the middle position
2. Heat a 12-inch oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Pour in 1 tbs of extra-virgin olive oil in the hot pan, add the sliced shallots, and a sprinkle of salt. Cook until the shallots are softened, and stir occasionally. This should take about 5-10 minutes.
3. In the meantime, sprinkle kosher salt liberally (about 1-2 teaspoons total) on the front and back sides of the chicken pieces.
4. Add the sliced mushrooms, ginger, and garlic to the wilted shallots. Stir it for 1-2 minutes, it will be aromatic. Then transfer all the veggies off the skillet and onto a plate.
5. With the skillet on medium-high heat, sear the chicken pieces skin-side down in the hot pan until they are nicely browned and crispy, about 5 minutes. Add freshly ground pepper while they are being seared. Once the skin is golden (about 5 minutes), flip over to the other side and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes.
6. Prepare the broth in a bowl / cup and stir in the fish sauce.
7. Pour it in the pan, making sure to avoid pouring the liquid on the crispy skin. This is an important step if you want crispy chicken!
8. Next up, add the already-prepared shallots, mushrooms, and garlic back to the pan. Tuck them in between the chicken pieces. Again, make sure not to cover the skin!
9. Transfer the oven-safe skillet to the hot oven and roast the chicken for 20 minutes or until the temperature of the chicken measures at least 165°F. Don’t forget your oven mitt when handling the skillet handle!
10. Finally, spread the sliced scallions and the cilantro (notice below that I had to use parsley as I was sadly out of cilantro) over the chicken and enjoy!