Don’t be deceived by the ultraclean look of this poached chicken recipe. Inspired by the Thai-by-way-of-China dish called khao mun gai, it is a healthier version of the poached chicken and rice bowl with a salty, savory sauce. But it’s still wonderfully textured and flavorful, thanks to its citrusy fish-sauce dressing, mélange of veggies, haiga rice (a short-grain, white Japanese rice with its nutritious germ still attached, available at Asian markets and health foods stores), and amaranth (a nutrient-rich ancient grain). Trust us: make this dish.
Poached Chicken with Amaranth Rice and Fish-Sauce Citronette Gluten-Free Recipe
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons amaranth
- 1 cup haiga rice or short-grain Japanese rice, rinsed several times in cold water
- 2- inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and lightly smashed
- 1-1/2 bunches Swiss chard, center ribs removed and leaves coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- Juice of 2 limes
- 1 small clove garlic, pounded, very thinly sliced, or pressed into a paste
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 bird’s-eye chile or serrano chile, very thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced cucumber
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
Using a mallet or the back of a frying pan, whack the thick part of the chicken breast once or twice to make the meat approximately the same thickness all around. Season the chicken breasts with 1/2 teaspoon salt and let them sit for 20 minutes at room temperature.
Put the amaranth and rice into a small saucepan with a lid. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1-1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, turn the heat to low, and cook for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let rest, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff and keep warm.
Bring 6 cups water and the ginger to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Add the chicken breasts, turn off the heat, stir, cover, and poach the chicken breasts in the hot liquid until just firm, yet springy to the touch, 12 to 15 minutes. Reserve 1/4 cup poaching liquid from the pan. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and slice each chicken breast into 8 pieces.
Return the remaining poaching liquid to a boil and blanch the chard until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and set aside.
In a bowl, whisk together the fish sauce, 1/4 cup water, the lime juice, garlic, and honey. Whisk in the reserved poaching liquid.
To assemble, divide the amaranth rice among four wide and shallow bowls. Top each with chard, 6 chicken pieces, chile and cucumber slices, and cilantro and mint leaves. Drizzle each bowl with the citronette dressing and serve.
Photography Paul Sirisalee