Brown Sugar and Ancho Braised Chicken with Ham Hog, Potato-Green Onion Gnocchi and roasted oyster mushrooms

(BangkokBold Flavours)

Meals with grandma

My inspiration for cooking started from my grandma, Jam


Chicken meal


(Flavour of childhood)

The love for cooking came from my childhood with my grand mother in the suburb of a small town in Thailand. 65 years old at a time, she was retired, alway kept herself busy putting together a daily good comforting meals. Seasonal home grown ingredients all made from scratch recipes were served day in and day out. Those years of good comforting meals had built up my love and appreciation for good food that are made with love and attention to details, nothing fancy, nothing complicated..and that made the best meal to remember.

Later on I had an opportunity to travel and spend time in The States where many new cuisines were exposed to me that had opened up my world into the melting pot of cultures and food. I spent almost a year reading cookbooks and exploring farmer markets to see and try new produces that I then had only read about.

Four and a half years in a professional kitchen had taught me so much about classic cooking techniques. Though I found my self craved for home cooked meals from my childhood utilising local and seasonal ingredients, not to spend hours after hours drive to get the specific ingredients but to be flexible and looked for what are good to work with to put together that inspired meal.

This recipe was adapt from my favourite dish that my grand mother always cooked for me with adjustments on ingredients from my journeys . Since all food are all connected I found no restricted rules in good comforting meals but to let the ingredients inspired me, pick the techniques I had practiced over the years, add some familiar flavours (preferably from my childhood) and the new dish is created.

This brown sugar braised ham hog and chicken was made so often time at my family table, I could not say what nationality of the dish but all I could say is that everyone in my family adore it. This kind of dish always bring me back to the times in my suburb kitchen with my grand mother who had taught me what the real meaning of comforting dishes should be.

Ingredients and Directions: (Serve 4)

For the stew;

Blend all these ingredients together in a blender to form a fine pesto like texture:

Dried bird chilies (soaked in water to soften) 5 Grams

Dried Ancho chilies (soaked in water to soften) 20 Grams

Black peppercorns 10 Grams

Salt  2 Tablespoons

Fresh bird chilies (preferably the red ones) 25 Grams

Lemongrass  20 Grams

Vegetable oil 225 Ml

In a medium heat pot slowly cook the chilli paste from above until fragrance: be sure to stir often :

Add 500 Ml of water to the pot and bring the mixture up to a boil

Add 100 Grams of unsalted butter, 250 Grams of light brown sugar to the hot chili paste mixture and stir until melted and start to boil

Add 1 Kg. of chicken legs (cut up into thighs and drumsticks) skin side down to brown in the chill and brown sugar mixture

Add 1 Ham hog (300 Grams) and turn the chill and brown sugar mixture

Flip all the chicken legs skin side up before adding

30 Grams of smashed up ginger

10-12 peeled shallots

50 Grams of peeled garlic cloves

1 potato (peeled and cut into rounds)

1 carrot (peeled and cut into rounds)

1 daikon radish (peeled and cut into rounds)— turnips or radish would be a great substitution

2 tablespoons of tomato paste

100 Ml of red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon of salt

— Bring the mixture to a boil and put the cover on to simmer until the chicken legs are tendered (25-35 minutes)

— Remove the chicken legs and some broth (just enough to cover the chicken to keep it moist) and simmer the ham hog until tender ( 35-40 minutes longer)

— Put the chicken legs back in the pot and bring the sauce up to a boil before adding 100 Ml of freshly squeezed orange juice and adjust more seasoning with salt and pepper if needed

— The sauce should now be a bit glossy, remove from heat and set aside

For the Potato and Green onion Gnocchi;

Poke 1 Kg. of potatoes forks and roast in a 180C degree oven until tender 30-45 minutes)

—1 Egg Yolk

— 1 Cup of all purpose flour

— 1/8Cup of grated Parmesan cheese

— 1/8 Cup of thinly sliced green onion

— Pinch of salt and white pepper

— 4 Tablespoons of butter

— 100 Grams of oyster mushroom

Push the roasted potato flesh through the strainer or potato ricer 

Make a mound in the middle of the potato and stir in egg yolk, 1/2 cup of all purpose flour, Parmesan cheese  and sliced green onion, season with salt and white pepper to taste

Once the gnocchi comes together, roll and cut into bite sizes before rolling it onto the gnocchi ridges tools, rest for 10 minutes in the fridge before cooking them in a salted boiling water until float

In a pan, heat up the butter before adding the cooked gnocchi and sear on both sides add mushrooms and season with salt and pepper to taste, remove from heat

TO SERVE: Finish the braised chicken and ham hog with cilantro leaves and serve with warmed potato gnocchi and oyster mushroom

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