Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ga Ragu - Chicken Ragu

I really love the concept of ca ri (curry) or beef stew (bo kho). Slowed cook meat with tender vegetables makes a hearty meal. There's another dish that fit in the stewed meat category yet we don't hear very often in Asian cuisine, ragu or nagu. I did a little research online and found some facts. Ragu originated in Bologna, Italy. It's meat that is slowly cooked in a tomato base until tender. Some recipes includes different vegetables such as onion, carrot, and celery and usually serve over pasta. If you are the thinking about the Ragu pasta sauce, then that's exactly it! It's such a popular sauce that a lot of chef from different country did a take on it inspired by their own culture. There's a vietnamese version that my mom always make. And what makes it vietnamese? You guessed's the fish sauce! It's similar to curry but of course different spices are used but you can use similar vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and onions. You can add celery, mushroom, and if you are making it around this time of year you can add pumpkin. I've seen a version with crab legs. So give this recipe a try, goes great with white rice or baguettes.

12 drumsticks (cut in half)
fish sauce
black pepper
1 tablespoon of minced garlic
2 tablespoon mushroom seasoning
1/4 cup of fish sauce
1-2 cans of coco rico 
14/ cup of tomato paste
3 Idaho potatoes (cut into cubes)
4 medium carrots (cut into 1 in. section)
1 medium onion (sliced)
1 bay leaf (optional)
cooking oil
garnish with green onions, cilantro, and lime

1. Marinade the chicken with 1/4 cup of fish sauce, 1 tablespoon mushroom seasoning,1 tablespoon minced shallots.  I usually do this the night before.
2. Marinade the potatoes and carrots with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.
3. Heat up cooking oil to a pan and sear the potatoes and carrots, don't completely cook the vegetables. 4. Set the potatoes and carrots aside for later.
5. Repeat step #3 with the chicken, again you don't have to completely cook the chicken.
6. Transfer chicken to a large pot and add 1/4 cup of tomato paste and evenly coat the chicken. Add 1-2 cans of coco rico if you like it sweet add two cans, so add to your liking.  Add 5 cups of water, 1 tablespoon of salt (this is base on 2 cans of coco rico, so if you are using less coco rico then a little less on the salt), 1 tablespoon mushroom seasoning.
7. Let the chicken simmer in the liquid for 20 minutes, skim scum if needed. Add the  carrots first then potatoes after.  Add more fish sauce if needed.  Let everything simmer for about 15 minutes and then add the onions at the very end. Serve over rice or with baguettes, enjoy!


Emily said...

Great recipe. I'm going to try it tonight.

Thuy said...

great! please let me know how it went :p

jujupif said...

thx for the recipes. i woke up this morning craving for chicken ragu that my ex use to make it. I'm glad to found it. i'm making it this weekend for my bf

Anonymous said...

Hi Thuy, ragu should not have coconut milk. Coconut milk goes with curry. I have nt checked where ragu originally came from, but I guess Vmese ragu is actually a version of French ragout since some part of Vmese cooking has been influenced by French culinary. Anne

Thuy said...


I definitely do not use coconut milk in Ragu. I actually use young coconut juice that we often drink. It doesn't really flavor the ragu but as the chicken simmers in it the coconut juice tenderizes and sweeten the meat. Sorry for the confusion. And thank you for the information on ragu :)

Sandy said...

wow this recipe is so much better with the coconut soda! i usually make this with chicken stock.. but im going to change it up and make it with soda from now on.. thanks!

Thuy said...

Thanks Sandy!

Coconut soda does wonder to slow cooking recipes...I always make sure i'm fully stock with them :)

Anonymous said...

i thought that 2 cans of coco rico made it too sweet for my taste. next time i'll try 1 can of coco rico and 1 can of chicken broth.

Thuy said...

I've never use chicken broth with this recipe either, will have to give it a try.

Anonymous said...

Just finished making's SO easy! Thank you for bringing the warmth into my home :) This recipe is a keeper!

Anonymous said...

I love this dish but never try making it. I am going to try your recipe this weekend. It will be a challenge to find coconut juice / soda in south of France. Any recommendation for substitute? Bonnie

Thuy said...

You can try gingerale soda because the taste is subtle and the carbonation would help tenderize the chicken. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

DO NOT FORGET the bread (baguette).!! totally forgot abt it cause it wasn't listed.... going back now. =T

Thuy said...

LOL sorry about that! If you forget bread to buy bread again, this recipe is also great with steamed rice.

Barnard P said...

Great recipe. Do you have recipe for pollo alla cacciatora? I like it when I was in Bologna, Italy

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Anonymous said...

Recipe calls for sugar - but no where in directions says to add sugar.

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