Music to my ears at the dinner table. I made "Vietnamese-Style Caramel-Braised Chicken" tonight from Fine Cooking. It was really good with brown jasmine rice and bok choy. Here is the recipe:
1/4 c fish sauce (I used Oyster sauce); 2 large shallots, finely chopped; 2 medium cloves of garlic, minced; 1/8 t crushed red pepper flakes; ground pepper; 1/4 c granulated sugar; 6 - 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 3/4 inch strips; 1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro.
In a small bowl, mix the fish sauce and 1/4 c water. In another small bowl, mix the shallots, garlic, chili and 1/2 t pepper.
Put the sugar and 2 T water in a 10 inch straight sided saute pan over medium heat and cook, swirling the pan until the sugar dissolves. Let the melted sugar come to a boil and cook, swirling the pan occasionally at first and more frequently as the sugar browns, until it has caramelized to a deep amber colour, about 5-8 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and, standing back to avoid splatter slowly add the fish sauce mixture to the pan. Swirl the pan to combine, return to the heat and bring to the boil. Add the shallot mixture and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until the shallots soften, 1-2 minutes. Add the chicken pieces to the pan in a single layer, reduce the heat to medium low and cover, cooking at a simmer and stirring occasionally until the chicken is cooked through 8-10 mins. Serve sprinkled with cilantro, I did not because I forgot to buy it...but still tasted great.