1 whole free range chicken, 2-4 lbs
3 liters water (or canned chicken broth)
1 large knob of ginger. Peel and slice 1/2 of knob. Mince remainder and divide in two portions.
2 large shallots, one whole peeled and the other minced.
2 stems of lemongrass. Bruise one, and finely mince the other.
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons cooking oil
3 cups rice
1 head of garlic, minced
Vegetable of choice for soup (winter melon, bok choy, etc.)
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
1 bunch of rau ram (Vietnamese coriander/cilantro)
3 tablespoons nuoc mam cham (fish sauce)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Crispy fried shallots
1. In a large stock pot combine the chicken (optional: stuff the aromatics inside the chicken cavity) with the sliced ginger, lemongrass stem, shallot and water. Cover and bring to a low simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until internal temperature is 180 degrees F., roughly 10 minutes per pound.
2. Meanwhile in small pan, add cooking oil and sauté minced garlic, 1/2 of the minced ginger, minced shallots, minced lemongrass until browned and fragrant. Turn off heat and set aside.
3. When done strain out any impurities, remove chicken, and cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside to cool. Ladle the fatty portions of the chicken broth into your rice cooker in the same amount as you would normally use with water. Add the sautéed minced garlic, ginger, shallots, and lemongrass mixture into the rice and mix. Cook according to your rice cooker's directions.
4. Remove the slices of cooked ginger, lemongrass and shallot from the remainder of stock. Add your vegetable of choice and cook by bringing back to boil. Turn off heat and season to taste.
5. Prepare the dipping sauce by adding 3 tablespoons of nuoc mam cham (fish sauce), plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar to the remainder of the minced ginger.
6. When cool to the touch, carve the chicken with your method of choice. Serve family style with rice, soup, and nuoc mam cham gung (ginger lime dipping sauce).