Ingredients for 4 servings:
1. 1 tablespoon baking soda
2. 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
3. 7 tablespoons sugar
4. 1/4 cup fish sauce
5. 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
6. 1 lb broccoli, florets cut int 1 -inch pieces, stalks peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
7. 2 teaspoons cornstarch
8. 1/2 teaspoon pepper
9. 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves and stems
1. combine baking soda and 1 1/4 cups cold water in large bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Rinse chicken in cold water and drain well.
2. Meanwhile, combine sugar and 3 tablespoons water in small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat and cook, without stirring, until mixture begins to turn golden, 4 to 6 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook, gently swirling saucepan, until sugar turns color of molasses and registers between 390 and 400 degrees, 4 to 6 minutes longer. (Caramel will produce some smoke during the last 1 to 2 minutes of cooking.) Immediately remove saucepan from heat and carefully pour in 3/4 cup hot water (mixture will bubble and steam vigorously). When bubbling has subsided, return saucepan to medium heat and stir to dissolve caramel.
3. Transfer caramel to 12-inch skillet and stir in fish sauce and ginger. Add chicken and bring to simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until chicken is forktender and registers 205 degrees, 30 -40 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through simmering. Transfer chicken to serving dish and cover to keep warm.
4. Bring 1 inch water to boil in Dutch oven. Lower insert or steamer basket with broccoli into pot so it rests above water; cover and simmer until broccoli is just tender, 4.5 to 5 minutes. Transfer broccoli to serving dish with chicken.
5. While broccoli cooks, bring sauce to boil over medium-high heat and cook until reduced to 1 1/4 cups, 3 to 5 minutes. Whisk cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water together in small bowl, then whisk into sauce; simmer until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in pepper. Pour 1/4 cup sauce over chicken and broccoli. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve, passing remaining sauce separately.