This was one of the first recipes my mom mastered when she and my father got married and moved to Maine in the ’70s, given to her by her neighbor Yumiko. It’s brilliant in its simplicity — only five ingredients, including water and chicken — and it’s always been a family favorite comfort food. My older sister used to request it for her birthday dinners when she was little. I put “Chinese” in quotation marks because I’m not sure how authentically Chinese it is, but I can at least vouch for the deliciousness. I also included a sixth ingredient, sriracha, and it gave it a nice kick that my adult palate appreciated while my inner child was enjoying a familiar taste of Mom’s home cooking.
- 5-6 chicken thighs (bone in and skin on)
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1/2 c sugar
- 1/4 c soy sauce
- 1/4 c sriracha
- water to cover
In a medium saucepan, place the sliced onions. On top of them, place the chicken thighs. Add sugar, soy sauce, sriracha and cover with water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat; simmer until chicken is fork-tender and liquid has formed a dark brown, thin sauce. Serve over rice.