Vietnamese Lemon Peel Chicken

I tend to like exotic food— Indian, Thai, Vietnamese and the list goes on. So, I have a pretty well-stocked pantry for creating exotic dishes like this on a whim. I know it sounds daunting, but once you get a group of a few special ingredients necessary for each regional dish you can satisfy your exotic food craving quite easily. I, for one, don’t believe you need to follow every single recipe to a tee and buy a warehouse worth of spices to achieve a hint of exotic flavor in your dishes.

So with that in mind, I tried a variation of a Vietnamese lemongrass chicken dish where I used grated lemon instead of lemongrass. It’s really not a proper substitution since lemon peel and lemongrass don’t taste similar, yet the experiment was a success and the dish turned out quite well. And even though I’m fortunate enough to live in a city with all sorts of ethnic shops and markets, I didn’t want to make a special trip for lemongrass. Besides, sometimes it’s more fun to experiment… or just be lazy and not leave the house for special ingredients. But I do honestly feel that sometimes by not following a recipe exactly I can create a dish that’s easier for everyone to master, while still keeping the intended flavor of the dish. I hope you all will take a leap of faith and give this great chicken recipe a shot.

4 lbs of chicken thighs, cubed
1 large onion, halved and cut into thin slices
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 red chili, sliced
1 tbsp of salt
1 tbsp of pepper
1 tbsp of sugar
2 tbsp of ginger, grated
2 tbsp of lemon peel, grated
2 tbsp of curry powder
sesame oil, for frying
14 oz of coconut milk

Heat the oil in your Aroma Rice Cooker using the Sauté-Then-Simmer™ (STS™) setting. Add half of the onion and all of the garlic, ginger, salt, pepper and sugar to the rice cooker. Cook until soft. Add chicken, curry powder and lemon peel and continue cooking until chicken is done. Add the rest of the onion, red pepper and chili with the coconut milk and close the lid for another 10 minutes or so. Serve with basmati rice.


Over to You
What’s your version of a delicious chicken dish? Share and inspire us!

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