Thai Spiced Cold Poached Chicken

For the past few weeks I have been craving the Khao Man Gai that I had from a food truck in Portland.  When I went food shopping this weekend I decided I was going to attempt to replicate it (yes I’m a trekkie) with my own spin. And so began dinner tonight.  I went from this………



To this………

 
 
So I poached the chicken breast in a water solution of salt, Thai red curry paste, sliced ginger, sliced red bell pepper, lime slices, & cilantro.  I started it in cold water on low heat and brought it to a simmer and let it simmer until cooked.  I served it with Jasmine rice cooked with grated ginger & cilantro and Tondlee (Indian vegetable called Tindora in Hindi; Ivy gourd in English).  Tondlee is what we call it in Marathi.  They look like this…………..
 
 
I slice them lengthwise and cook them in a bit of oil with mustard seeds, chopped onion, salt, red pepper, turmeric and cumin-coriander powder sauteing them on medium heat until cooked to desired doneness.
 
Overall the meal was really good and my little 10 year old man scarfed it down in no time.  It helps that I starve him for several hours before an experiment meal.  But seriously he commented that it smelled good while doing homework upstairs and then asked that I remember the recipe so I could make it again.  Always a compliment from my mini food critic.  Personally I thought it could use the following improvements:
  1. More heat and more salt in the poaching liquid.  Perhaps some chopped green chilis will do the trick in addition to more red curry paste.
  2. More ginger & cilantro in the rice.  I could hardly taste either.
  3. Grate the ginger in the poaching liquid for more even distribution of flavor.  Particularly since I boiled the poaching liquid after removing the chicken and used it as a sauce to serve over the chicken and rice.
  4. Cook the chicken for about 5 – 10 minutes less.  It was a bit tough for me….and I really dislike tough or stringy chicken.  Might also want to try it with skinless, boneless thighs instead of breast.
The above 4 items are the reason I didn’t bother posting the recipe.  In my mind it has not yet been perfected.  I also want to try this with a little coconut milk in the cooking of the rice.  Once perfected I will post but I’m looking for suggestions to improve my efforts.  This was my first attempt at poaching chicken so if you’ve found the best way to do it, please let us know.
 
I can’t wait to try this again and improve upon it.  I will have my very own version of Khao Man Gai!!!
 
Happy experimenting!!
 

 


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