This is one of the most simple stews you can make. But despite its simplicity it still has depth, warmth and heartiness. It is absolutely perfect for cold winter days, although that hasn’t stopped me from making it other times of the year as well. I’m actually making this stew again for Valentine’s/Lunar New Year weekend, that’s how much we enjoy it. I always serve this with toasted baguette to soak up the broth. My kids enjoy this soup, but I honestly think it’s the bread they like the most.
I highly recommend using bone-in chicken chicken for this recipe (chicken thighs are my recommendation), but if you prefer breasts or using boneless then use chicken broth instead of water so you can achieve the depth of flavor we will want. I also remove the skin but you can always leave it on if that’s your preference!
Ragu Ga, Vietnamese Chicken Ragu (6-8 servings)
8 bone-in chicken thighs(skin on or skinless), about 4 lbs.
1 onion cut into slices
1 Tbs minced garlic
3 carrots cut into chunks (3-4 cups chopped carrots)
1-2 large potato cut into chunks (3 cups chopped potatoes)
1.5-2 cup frozen green peas
6 ounces tomato paste
2 Tbs ketchup (optional but recommended)
1 Tbs + 4 tbs fish sauce (or to taste)
4 cups water
1.5-2 cup coconut juice or soda
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
Black peper to taste
Cilantro for garnish
Put chicken pieces in bowl. Add 2 tsp sugar, 1 Tbs fish sauce, ½ tsp salt, black pepper, half of the minced garlic and onions.
Marinate for at least 30 minutes over night.
In a pot add oil over medium heat and brown chicken. Add the rest of the garlic and onions and saute for 1 minute.
Add tomato paste and stir thouroughly.
Add coconut juice and water and bring to boil.
Add fish sauce and black pepper and lower to simmer.
Simmer for 15 minutes and add carrots and potatoes.
Simmer for another 20-30 minutes until vegetables are tender.
Add peas and ketchup.
Simmer another 10-15 minutes or until ready to serve.
Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
Served with toasted bread and lime on the side.