There's a food cart run by an amazing woman named Nong Poonsukwattana called Nong's Khao Man Gai. Her story is inspirational (came here with $100, got a job, opened a cart, opened a brick-and-mortar) It's a mini chain of two carts and a restaurant that serves Thai chicken and rice.
The chicken is damn near life changing. Her method, simmering the chicken for 35 minutes in broth and water, creates a bird that is tender and moist, seasoned with ginger and garlic. Her Khao Man Gai rice is rich and juicy -- jasmine rice cooked in schmaltz.
A year or so ago I read an Eater Portland story about her recipe and had to make it myself. Please look up the story -- it's worth a read.
Chicken brined* (from Ruhlman) overnight with turmeric (this I borrowed from Ms Hamilton's famous fried chicken), garlic and ginger. Boiled for 45 minutes (if the chicken is 5-6 pounds) (technique from Ms Poonsukwattana) and pulled from the bone.
Next... I remove the skin and bake it crispy, reduce the boiling stock, and serve it with....WHATEVER YOU WANT. Tonight I sauteed some onion, asparagus and radicchio and served it in the chicken soup.
Here's the process for making the chicken. Make a brine that is 7.5 cups of water, 6 Tbsp of salt. Add 2 Tbsp minced garlic, 2 Tbsp peeled and minced ginger, and 1/2 teaspoon turmeric. Submerge the chicken (this will work with a chicken that is from 4-6 pounds), and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, bring two quarts of water, two tablespoons salt and 1/2 tspn of turmeric to a boil. Strain the garlic and ginger from the brine. Add the brined chicken, ginger and garlic to the boiling water. Cut the heat so you have a slow bubbling and set a timer for 45 minutes.
Slowly cook the chicken at a scant boil for 45 minutes. When it's finished, remove it carefully. It's difficult to maneuver a greasy, hot chicken. Use a wooden spoon and tongs. Allow it to cool.
As soon as you can handle the chicken, remove the skin. (you'll want to preheat an oven to 375) Place the pieces of skin on a sheet tray (my mom would call it a jelly roll pan) or any pan with built up sides (not a cookie sheet). Bake for 15 minutes or until the skins is crispy. Set aside.
While dinking around with the chicken and skin, I reduce the yellow broth, adding the chicken bones as I debone the carcass. When it's reached maximum deliciousness, I stop simmering it, season it, strain it and serve it.
Assemble the soup with the veggies on the bottom, bite size pieces of chicken on top of the veg and piping hot broth over all of it. The crispy skin is the crowning glory of the dish.
Tarting up the skin in this way was inspired by Nong's own Khao Man Gai.
An amazing meal and a quart or so of great chicken broth for the freezer and some damn tasty schmaltz from the crisped skin.
* No, I'm not brining chicken in Maldon. I just had it in the cupboard and thought it'd look good in the shot.