Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thai Style Fried and Grilled Chicken: Local roadside specialties.

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ไก่ย่าง and ไก่ทอด

In Peru we have a national chicken dish called "Pollo a la Brasa", which is basically spit roasted chicken marinated with secret sauces, every locale has their own special marinade and every single person in Peru has their favorite Pollo a la Brasa restaurant (unless they are vegetarian of course). Pollo a la Brasa is specially tasty on Sundays and when hungover, although some people eat it many times a week. The chilli side sauce is a must at every meal and families fight over who has control of the sauce dish. 

My husband isn't Peruvian and he loves the stuff. There is nothing better than ordering chicken from Pardo's Chicken while laying and bed and watching a movie. Altough eating it at the actual restaurant has the special crispy wings factor. Well, so there is no Pollo a la Brasa in Phuket but there sure are two Thai style chicken delicacies that have become pretty good replacements, and one of them you can even get for breakfast at 7 in the morning. Both are sold in roadside stalls and even though they are prepared differently are both delish.

Close to our aparment in Bangkok, around the corner from Soi Cowboy, in front of the MRT Asok Station there was a gai taud stall but it wasn´t as nice as the one where I get out weekly staple from here in Phuket. The rice didn´t hve the crispy shallots and the flavor wasn´t as nice. The girl didn´t wear a hijab maybe that was the reason. I don´t know what I´m going to do when we have to move and I crave gai taud. I´ll have to learn how to make it myself.

So, Thai style fried chicken, ¨gai taud¨ (ไก่ย่าง); Doing my respective research to write this post, I read that the Muslim style fried chicken is superior than the other, not muslim variety. I had not realized this fully but thinking about it, it is completely true. In our neighborhood, there are four fried chicken stalls and the one with the signs in arabic and halal logos served by the nice lady in hijab is definitely the best. It's a flavor thing, also a crisp thing. Her sticky rice with crunchy shallots is also so yum that my kiddos can never get enough. There was a fried chicken stall in Bangkok, around the corner from Soi Cowboy just outside the Asok MRT Station but the one here in Srisoontorn, just outside the purple Super Cheap is far better. Sometimes I only buy wings, cause why not! And yes, you can get fried chicken at dawn.

Now about the other chicken delicacy from the Thai roadside, grilled whole chicken ¨gai yang¨ (ไก่ทอด) with a side of sticky rice and Som Tam (green papaya salad). This is the closest we'll ever get to Pollo a la Brasa since it's also cooked over a grill, just not rotated but spread out with bamboo sticks and marinated in a very Thai sauce. When served, its cut up with a big cleaver into pieces and if eaten straight off the grill, the skin is quite crispy. If taken home in the infamous plastic bag it can get a little soggy.

Close to our house there are a few roadside stalls that sell gai yang and mysteriously they all have these yellow signs with red stencil lettering. In Bangkok the gai yang stalls are a little different, they are usually set up on salings (motorbikes with sidecars) and a sidegrill where the chicken gets cooked, even while the saling moves around the streets. Here in Phuket you can go to a sit down restaurant with ¨salas¨ which are the classic bamboo hut on stilts and sit on mats. You can do drive by on the highway, or sitdown beachside like in Thai Muang National Park. And yes, you can also get gai yang and som tam from a saling, pretty much anywhere it pops up. I´ve seen one outside my house a few times.

Our all time favorite is the Thai Muang National Park beach side picnic setup with really nice gai yang and equally nice rice and som tam. We don´t go there very often, really only when we have visitors so each times it´s a real treat. 

Like on all our Thai Food posts I will include a recipe for the food we talk about. I usually use the recipes on the She Simmers website cause they are so spot on. And this Thai Style Fried Chicken ¨Gai Taud¨ recipe is no exception, CHECK IT OUT!

For the Thai Style Grilled Chicken ¨Gai Yang¨ I got the recipe from another great website called Eating Thai Food. And here is their recipe, CHECK THIS ONE OUT TOO!