Thursday, October 23, 2008

Đậu Xao Trứng (Green Beans & Eggs) and Gà Rô-ti (Chicken)

Đậu xao trứng (green beans & eggs) and gà rô-ti (braised chicken) were two staples for dinner at my mom's - not together, individually. We ate both with rice, but as I like to minimize carbohydrates, I skip the rice. I make green beans and eggs on a regular basis and this was my first time making gà rô-ti. Gà rô-ti translated to chicken rô-ti, which means roasted in French. However, it's definitely not roasted; it's braised instead. I have concluded (I think) that when Vietnamese use the word rô-ti, they are referring referring to the seasoning, usually five-spice powder.

Green beans and eggs are an easy way to make green beans even tastier. As for gà rô-ti, I don't know if I like the chicken or the sauce better Until recently, my mom seemed to prefer dark meat over white meat. Now she uses breast meat because it's healthier. (She also uses olive oil in everything now while once upon a time, it was corn oil.)

I got two pieces of free-range chicken thighs. I'm trying to eat free range after seeing the abhorent conditions they live in on Oprah last week. I already knew (I did read Fast Food Nation) but seeing pictures was a good reminder. I also thought buying chicken at the farmer's market was a good opportunity to cook it right away and not save some for the freezer because I really hate freezer burn. To make up for the higher cost of the chicken, I bought chicken thighs with skin and bone, which is not my preference.

Đậu Xao Trứng (Green Beans & Eggs)
This is a really easy dish. The most time consuming part is slicing the beans horizontally. That's how my mom does it anyway; I guess it's not necessary...!

* oil
* 1 garlic clove, minced
* a bunch of green beans, sliced or not
* salt
* 1 or 2 eggs, beaten

Cook the garlic in oil.
Add in the green beans and season with salt.
When they are close to being cooked, add the eggs while mixing the beans.

Sliced green beans.

Green Beans and Eggs.

Gà Rô-ti (Chicken)
This works well with chicken breast too because the sauce keeps the chicken moist.

* 2 chicken thighs
* ½ tsp dark soy sauce
* 1 Tbsp sugar
* ½ tsp salt
* ⅛ tsp five spice
* ¼ tsp garlic powder
* oil
* water

In a bowl, add all the ingredients (up to the the oil) to the chicken.
Let it marinate 2-3 hours, or overnight.
In a pan, add the oil and cook the garlic a bit.
Remove the meat but save the marinating liquid.
Add the meat and cook on both sides.
Add the marinating liquid and just a bit of water.
Cook for 20-30 minutes.
Adjust seasoning to taste.

Marinating chicken.

For the second piece of chicken, I had it with cucumbers. I love dipping cold and crunchy pieces of cucumber in the sauce. It seems my mom's dark soy sauce-based recipes never look appealing but they are good!


Wandering Chopsticks said...

Umm, every version of ga ro ti I've ever had has been roasted until the skin is crispy. Or sometimes deep-fried, but definitely so the skin is crispy. :)

Miss.Adventure said...

Oops... I don't think my mom ever roasted chicken until recently (Western style). I didn't think Vietnamese ate meat roasted. And there's never been skin in this dish! Crispy skin is good though!

Gastronomer said...

my family's ga ro ti is seared with a bit of oil and then left to cook in the same pot and soak up the juices. comes out moist, but i wouldn't say crispy.

Jacqueline said...

I am a new reader fan of your blog and loved making the green beans. I found that slicing with a paring knife on the side with the "fattest" seam made it easier (and a bit faster).

Thanks, the green beans were a hit!