Have you ever visited a Vietnamese deli and drool over the roasted chicken that they have behind the counters? The aromatic sweet glaze from these perfectly roasted chickens is to die for. I usually order the roasted chicken over fried rice. Other times, I have it in a Vietnamese sandwich, Banh Mi Ga Nuong. For the longest time, I wasn't able to replicate the recipe ... until now. With help from a great cook who worked behind a Vietnamese deli counter, I finally can make these at home.
The cuts of chicken are usually bone-in chicken quarters, with thighs and legs attached. They are butterflied around the bone to lay flat then marinated in the thick and sweet sauce for at least 30 minutes. At the restaurant, the chicken goes on a wired rack and into an oven at a high temperature to achieve that crispy skin and even cooking. However, since it's summer time, I decided to throw these babies onto the grill (I love cooking outside). Before the chicken finished cooking, I brushed on another layer of sauce to get that shiny finish and another of layer of flavor. It was a delicious summer time dinner. Enjoy!
Vietnamese Roasted/Grilled Chicken Recipe (Ga Nuong)
10-15 chicken bone-in thighs, legs or quarters.
1/2 cup oyster sauce
1/2 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice Powder
1 /2 teaspoon MSG
1 /2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon minced lemon grass
7 cloves of minced garlic
1 tablespoon honey or 1.5 tablespoons Mirin
1 tablespoon cooking wine
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon tapioca starch (or all purpose flour)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
Prepare the chicken by rinsing them thoroughly and patting dry with paper towels.
Butterfly the meat from the bone so that the chicken lays flat. Do not remove the bone.
For the marinade, throw the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
Slather the marinade on the chicken generously (you may not need all of it). Cover with Saran wrap and marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
To cook, put the chicken on a roasting pan. Put the pan on the highest tray of your oven. Set oven to 375 F and broil with skin side down for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, flip the chicken over and broil the other side for another 15 minutes. I prefer roasting in the oven to prevent drying out the meat, but you can also throw these babies on the grill for some summertime fun. Just make sure to close the grill to simulate an oven for a more even cooking.
Serve with steamed white rice, kim-chi, tomatoes and/or cucumber, and/or picked daikon and carrot.