By Food & Wine
This delicious chicken dish has a savory-sweet glaze of brown sugar and fish sauce that caramelizes beautifully when roasted. The World's Best Cities for Street Food
© Eric Wolfinger Caramelized Ginger Chicken
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
4 whole chicken legs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
4 medium shallots, very finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
1/2 cup minced peeled fresh ginger
3 Thai chiles, very finely chopped
1/2 cup sliced pickled daikon
1. In a large, shallow baking dish, stir 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar with 2 tablespoons of the fish sauce until the sugar is dissolved. Add the chicken legs and coat them thoroughly with the marinade. Let the chicken stand at room temperature for 2 hours or refrigerate overnight.
2. Preheat the oven to 450°. In a small saucepan, heat the vegetable oil. Add the scallions and cook over high heat until they sizzle, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat.
3. Meanwhile, in a medium enameled cast-iron casserole, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of brown sugar with 1 tablespoon of water and cook over moderately high heat, stirring a few times, until bubbling, about 3 minutes. Gradually stir in 1 1/2 cups of water, then stir in the remaining 1/3 cup of fish sauce along with the soy sauce, vinegar, honey and half of the scallion oil. Bring to a boil and simmer over moderately high heat until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Add the shallots, garlic, ginger and chiles and simmer over moderately low heat for 5 minutes.
4. Roast the chicken legs in the upper third of the oven for about 15 minutes, until they are browned.
5. Discard the chicken skin and nestle the legs in the sauce in the casserole. Tuck in the pickled daikon slices. Cover and simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes, basting the chicken a few times, until cooked through; add a few tablespoons of water if the sauce gets too thick and dark. Serve the chicken with the sticky rice.
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My after-school snack was a sacred ritual. I sat on the carpet in my parents' bedroom at a low table, the television turned to "I Dream of Jeannie," and ate a peanut butter and honey sandwich cut into neat squares. I wasn't fussy about crusts. I just loved the sticky pairing of creamy peanut butter with syrupy golden sweetness drizzled from a honey bear in diagonals across the soft white bread. Nothing else--save for maybe apples and peanut butter in a pinch--could have made for as sweet an