Khao Man Gai

Nong Poonsukwattana started her wildly popular food truck with exactly one dish: Thai chicken and rice. Yeah, it's pretty damn good.

May 4 2015, 9:14pm

Photo courtesy of Nong's Khao Man Gai.

Servings: 4


For the rice:
2 cups quality jasmine rice
2 tablepsoons rendered chicken fat
1/2 cup shallots, diced
1/4 cup garlic, minced
8 oz. ginger, thinly sliced
1 oz. galangal, thinly sliced
3 pandan leaves
4 1/4 cups chicken stock

For the chicken:
1 whole chicken
1 gallon water
1/4 cup sea salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 whole head of garlic
6 oz. ginger, thinly sliced
6 pandan leaves

For the soup:
4 cups of chicken stock
2 cups of Chinese winter squash, peeled and cut in cubes
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon of ground white pepper
1 tablespoon cilantro, diced
1 tablespoon green onion, diced


1. Clean and trim excess skin from the chicken. In a small pan, cook chicken skin on medium heat until the fat completely renders out. What you'll get is some delicious crispy chicken skins. Save the fat.

2. Let's start cooking chicken! In a large pot, add water, salt, sugar, garlic, ginger, and pandan leaves and bring it to a boil. Add chicken. Bring it back to a boil again, and simmers for 35 minutes. When it's done, remove from the pot put chicken aside.

3. While chicken is cooking, let's make rice! In a separate nonstick pot on medium-high heat, add chicken fat, garlic, shallots, ginger, galangal, and pandan leaves. Stir every 20 seconds, until aromatics and herbs are golden brown. Add jasmine rice and stir until every grain is coated in chicken fat. Toast rice on medium heat for 2 minutes. Raise burner to high heat then add chicken stock. (The stock has to be boiling hot when you add it.) Stir rice constantly until it comes to a boil, then reduce to medium-low heat. Cover with a lid, and cook for another 10-15 minutes or until rice has cooked through.

4. For the soup: In a separate small pot, add chicken stock and Chinese winter squash. Bring it to a boil and cook for 15 minutes. Add soy sauce to taste, some ground white pepper, and some cilantro and green onion on top when you are serving it.

5. Let's put the dish together and enjoy it! Cut up chicken and place on top of rice. Cucumbers and cilantro are great complements to the dish—they'll cleanse your palate and balance your meal. Enjoy with Nong's Khao Man Gai Sauce and the soup. Hope you like it!

Chef's note: When the timer goes off, gently separate the hip joint—not the leg—to check if the chicken is cooked. If blood drips from the vein, place it back in the pot and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove chicken from liquid and rest for at least 15 minutes before serving. Warning: It's very hot!!!

Recipe courtesy of Nong's Khao Man Gai.

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