Burmese Chicken Recipe

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The history of Burma, or Myanmar as it is now known, dates back to the 6th century CE.

It was one of the first countries in Southeast Asia to be colonized by Europeans and has since become a modern nation with a rich cultural heritage.

When you think of this country, you might imagine its cuisine.

If you’ve eaten at any kind of restaurant that serves food from Burma, chances are you’ll have had some sort of chicken dish on your plate.

But what exactly is it?

And how does it differ from other chicken dishes around the world?

In this article, we’re going to explore all these questions and more, beginning with an overview of the history and culture of Burma, then moving onto the specifics of the chicken dish itself.

Overview of Burmese Chicken

As mentioned above, Burma (also known as Myanmar) is now a sovereign state in Southeast Asia.

In fact, it’s often referred to as “the Land of the Free.”

There are many reasons why this is so, but one of them is that the country was never colonized by European powers until after World War II (it wasn’t even under British rule until 1947).

That means that the nation has retained much of its traditional culture, including its cuisine.

One of the most popular meals in Burma is called “Burmese chicken,” which is actually quite different from the chicken recipes found elsewhere in the world.

This type of chicken originated in the Irrawaddy Delta region, where there were several ethnic groups living together before colonization.

This led to an interesting mix of cultures, and the result is a unique style of cooking that stands out among other regional cuisines.

Burmese Chicken Recipe

What Makes Burmese Chicken Different?

Before we dive into the recipe, let’s take a look at what makes Burmese chicken different from other kinds of chicken.

First off, it doesn’t contain any spices like paprika, cayenne pepper, or curry powder.

Instead, there is a specific blend of ingredients used in the marinade that gives the chicken flavor.

But beyond that, the chicken itself is also different.

Rather than being fried, this meat is grilled over charcoal, giving it a smoky, charred taste.

Another key difference lies in the way the chicken is cooked.

Traditionally, it is served with steamed rice and pickled vegetables.

These foods are typically served separately, making it easier to eat the chicken while still maintaining a balance between the spicy sauce and the milder flavors of the sides.

Another notable feature of this particular chicken dish is that it’s made with a different kind of bird altogether.

Chicken is traditionally raised on farms in Southeast Asia.

However, chicken raised in Burma tends to come from wild birds that live in the forests of the Irrawaddy River delta.

This is because farmers can’t raise chickens in that area due to lack of space, and they don’t want their animals to wander away from their homes so they have to hunt them down.

The History of Burmese Chicken

We know that the original chicken dish from Burma is somewhat distinct from other types of chicken, but it’s not completely unheard of outside of this region.

For example, you may have heard of “Thai” chicken, which is similar to Burmese chicken except that it uses a different variety of bird.

You may also have seen dishes labeled “Indian” chicken, which is often described as having a sweet-and-spicy taste.

While these dishes do exist, the Burmese version of chicken is considered the true “original” recipe.

It’s been featured in various forms throughout the history of the country, but it became particularly well-known during the era of the British Empire.

During the colonial period, the British brought Burmese people to work in their factories.

Those who stayed behind were given the opportunity to farm land in exchange for providing labor.

As a result, this gave rise to a new crop of chicken breeds, which were developed specifically for farming purposes.

One of those breeds is the “Burmese” chicken.

This breed is still very common today, though it’s less likely to be found in restaurants.

You can find them in small markets and farmer’s markets across the country.

They tend to sell for about $20 per kilogram, which isn’t too expensive considering how flavorful the meat is.

Burmese Chicken

How to Cook Burmese Chicken

Now that we know the basics of the dish, it’s time to learn how to make it!

You’ll need to prepare it just like any other chicken recipe – by searing the meat with oil and seasoning it with salt and pepper (or whatever spice mixture you prefer).

Then you’ll grill it on a charcoal grill or over a hot pan.

After that, you can serve it with rice and pickles.

You’ll notice that this method is slightly different from how chicken is normally prepared in other regions of the world.

In Western countries, chicken is usually prepared by frying it whole, which allows the skin to crisp up and give it a crispy texture.

By contrast, the Burmese version is prepared by grilling it piece by piece, which leaves the skin soft and tender.

Once you get the hang of it, you should be able to cook Burmese chicken fairly easily.

Just remember that if you plan to serve it with rice, you’ll need to make sure that it cooks long enough to stay warm through the meal.

Burmese Chicken Recipes

If you’re looking for a few more ideas for Burmese chicken recipes, here are a few delicious options.

Ingredients

  • 2 ¼ pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into chunks
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon chili peppers
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 onions chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese celery
  • 5 teaspoons corn oil
  • 2 to matoes chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced bamboo shoots
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 cup water

Directions

  • Skewer the chicken pieces and place them on a skewer.
  • Marinate them with a little soy sauce and sesame oil.
  • Next, roast them on a barbecue grill for about 10 minutes each side.
  • Once they’re done, remove the skewers and serve them with Thai peanut sauce, garlic chili paste, and crushed peanuts.
  • Grill the chicken pieces and serve them with a simple salad of lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, and cabbage.
  • Before serving, sprinkle them with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Boil the chicken pieces and serve them with rice noodles, bamboo shoots, and Chinese celery.
  • To make the broth, combine water, soy sauce, sesame oil, and sugar.
  • Add a pinch of salt and bring it to a boil.
  • Add the chicken pieces and simmer them for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken and set aside.
  • Place the rice noodles in the broth and continue to simmer until they’re tender.
  • Serve the chicken and noodles together.

Cut the chicken pieces into chunks and toss them with green onions, chili peppers, garlic, ginger, and fish sauce.

Grill them over a charcoal fire for about 5 minutes on each side.

Serve them alongside a bowl of jasmine rice.

Tips for Cooking Burmese Chicken

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when preparing Burmese chicken:

First, use high quality oil for the marinade.

Since this is the main ingredient, you want to make sure that it tastes good.

If you buy cheap oil, it won’t have a strong flavor, which will affect the overall taste of the dish.

Second, don’t overcook the chicken.

While you want to ensure that the meat stays moist, you don’t want to go too far either.

If the chicken gets dry, it will lose a lot of flavor.

So, err on the side of caution when cooking it.

Third, try to find Burmese chickens.

These are usually sold in small markets and farmer’s markets across the country.

When you can, purchase local chickens instead of ones shipped from overseas.

Not only will they taste better, but you’ll feel good knowing that you’re supporting your local economy.

Finally, make sure that the chicken is fully cooked before removing it from the heat.

When you put it on the grill, you don’t want to leave it on until the meat falls off the bone.

It’s fine to let it sit on the grill for a few extra minutes, but you shouldn’t expect it to be perfectly done when you pull it off.

Serving Suggestions for Burmese Chicken

Now that you know how to make Burmese chicken, it’s time to move on to the fun part – eating it!

Here are some suggestions for how to serve it:

Serve the chicken over grilled bok choy and broccoli.

Toss the grilled chicken pieces with fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Serve them with rice and a side of greens.

Add the chicken to a stir fry with onion, bell peppers, and mushrooms.

Mix the chicken with roasted peanuts, lime juice, and chili flakes.

Serve it with a bowl of rice and a side of veggies.

Interesting Facts About Burmese Chicken

There aren’t many things that you can say about Burmese chicken that haven’t already been said.

But, here are some facts about the dish that you might find interesting:

According to legend, the original recipe for Burmese chicken came from a Buddhist monk named Maung Htin Aung.

He lived during the reign of King Anawrahta (1152-1297), and he created the dish in order to cure his son of a fever.

Burmese Chicken Recipe

Burmese Chicken Recipe

If you’ve eaten at any kind of restaurant that serves food from Burma, chances are you’ll have had some sort of chicken dish on your plate. It's Burmese Chicken.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 5
Calories 316 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 ¼ pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into chunks
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon chili peppers
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 onions chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese celery
  • 5 teaspoons corn oil
  • 2 to matoes chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced bamboo shoots
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 cup water

Instructions
 

  • Skewer the chicken pieces and place them on a skewer.
  • Marinate them with a little soy sauce and sesame oil.
  • Next, roast them on a barbecue grill for about 10 minutes each side.
  • Once they’re done, remove the skewers and serve them with Thai peanut sauce, garlic chili paste, and crushed peanuts.
  • Grill the chicken pieces and serve them with a simple salad of lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, and cabbage.
  • Before serving, sprinkle them with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Boil the chicken pieces and serve them with rice noodles, bamboo shoots, and Chinese celery.
  • To make the broth, combine water, soy sauce, sesame oil, and sugar.
  • Add a pinch of salt and bring it to a boil.
  • Add the chicken pieces and simmer them for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken and set aside.
  • Place the rice noodles in the broth and continue to simmer until they’re tender.
  • Serve the chicken and noodles together.
  • Cut the chicken pieces into chunks and toss them with green onions, chili peppers, garlic, ginger, and fish sauce.
  • Grill them over a charcoal fire for about 5 minutes on each side.
  • Serve them alongside a bowl of jasmine rice.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 316kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 41gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 194mgSodium: 945mgPotassium: 744mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 640IUVitamin C: 14mgCalcium: 49mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Burmese Chicken Recipe
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