Eat this now: braised chicken in coconut-galangal cream sauce

Bangkok's culinary traditions set the bustling capital city apart from the rest of Thailand. Blogger and cookbook author Leela Punyaratabandhu brings the simple elegance of her hometown's food into American kitchens with her latest cookbook.

Egg net parcels with pork-peanut filling, stir-fried lump crabmeat with long beans, Pomelo salad bites… These dishes are emblematic of Thailand’s bustling capital city of Bangkok and its distinct food culture.

Leela Punyaratabandhu grew up in Thailand, watching her mother cook. To this day, she says the sound of a mortar and pestle still transports her back to her mother’s kitchen in Bangkok. She started her blog She Simmers in reverence of her mother’s culinary lessons but now, two books later, Punyaratabandhu is carving out her own style as she continues to bring the meals and culture of Thailand into American households.

Her recipe for braised chicken in coconut-galangal cream sauce signifies the simple beauty of Bangkok’s signature meals. An interesting technique Punyaratabandhu utilizes in this particular recipe revolves around cooling the kitchen by using ice.

In a double-broiler or doufeu style pot, the ice cools the chicken down while retaining maximum moisture inside the pot. The chicken cooks on a low heat, which creates a “self-basting” effect. Give it a try on this delicious dish, best served with rice.