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Thursday, April 25, 2024

Savoring O Thum burned chicken in An Giang

By Phuc An

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O Thum Lake in An Giang Province is not just a picturesque natural attraction; it is also home to the renowned O Thum burned chicken, a dish that has captured the hearts of many visitors with its unique process and distinctive flavor exclusive to the region.

The key ingredient for this dish is the hill chicken, ranging from 1.3 to 1.8 kilograms in weight, known for its firm meat due to freely roaming and engaging in activities like running and jumping on the hills. This results in tender meat with a delightful sweetness after grilling.

To prepare the chicken, it is cleaned, halved, and marinated with a blend of salt, lemongrass, chili, garlic, and the essential chuc leaves, also known as kaffir lime leaves, which greatly enhance the dish’s flavor.

After the chicken completely absorbs the spices, a small amount of cooking oil or honey is applied to the skin to prevent the chicken from burning during grilling and give it a beautiful golden color.

During grilling, a layer of lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves is placed underneath the chicken to infuse it with aromatic flavors. The chicken is grilled initially over high heat for 15 to 20 minutes, then the heat is gradually reduced to ensure even cooking from the inside out. The result is O Thum burned chicken, featuring crispy, golden-colored skin, a rich, sweet flavor, and a distinctive aroma.

To fully enjoy this delicacy, diners must patiently wait for at least 40 minutes as the chef meticulously completes the cooking process. The chicken is typically torn by hand or cut with scissors to preserve its quality and delicious flavor.

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