Welcome back to Chef in the Kitchen, a recurring Eater photo feature where we boldly go where few diners have gone before — into Portland restaurant kitchens — to get a sneak peek of the chef du jour hard at work.
- Water is first boiled in giant pots that await the arrival of whole chickens.
- Whole chickens enter the boiling water bath.
- Broth goes into the rice cooker.
- While the chickens boil, Nong preps her "chicken rice" in a skillet.
- After cooking for 35 minutes, Nong slices the cooked chickens...
- into serving portions, served with a side of Khao Man Gai sauce.
Over the past three months, Nong Poonsukwattana has expanded her Khao Man Gai empire threefold, with a new cart near PSU and today's debut over a take-out window on SE Ankeny, aka access to the commissary kitchen where Nong cooks up her famous Hainan chicken and rice. Eater went into the kitchen to capture the magic.
For the chicken, Nong boils water "in the biggest pot that you have" and adds whole chickens, garlic, and ginger, bringing it to boil again, then simmering the concoction for about 35 minutes. While the chicken cooks, Nong preps the rice, heating coconut oil in a pot and toasting garlic, shallots, and ginger until the ingredients brown. To that mixture, uncooked Jasmine rice, Pandanas leaves, and galangal are added and stirred until the oil coats the rice kernels. Chicken broth is then added, and the rice is set to cook. After the chicken is ready, Nong piles rice on a plate, cuts up some chicken, and garnishes the dish few pieces of cucumbers, cilantro, and her Khao Man Gai sauce.
Nong's SE Ankeny take-out window is now open Monday-Friday, from 11am-4pm.
· Nong's Khao Man Gai [Official site]
· All Previous Nong's Coverage [Eater PDX]
· All Previous Chef in the Kitchen Coverage [Eater PDX]