Instant Pot Lemongrass Chicken (Ga Kho Sa)

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This is one of my family's favorite recipes. The meat comes out tender and fragrant. As a note, I use heaping tablespoon measurements for the garlic, shallots and lemongrass. My husband loves chicken with bones and my kids like boneless so I do half and half for this recipe. If you don't add bones, I would add a tablespoon of Better Than Bouillon chicken broth.



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  1. Cut your chicken into about 1-2 inch pieces. We like to use half chicken with bones and 1/2 boneless thighs. Use whatever type of chicken you like best. You could choose to do whole drumsticks but I would be sure to marinate overnight in this situation and brown before adding the liquid.
  2. Marinate the chicken with the 2 Tbsp garlic, 2 Tbsp shallots, 6 Tbsp lemongrass, 2 Tbsp sugar, 6 Tbsp fish sauce, and 4 Tbsp mushroom seasoning, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp chili flakes. Marinate for at least 30 minutes on the counter. For better results, marinate overnight in the fridge.
  3. After marinating the chicken, add it to the Instant Pot. Pour in the coconut water until it is just under the top of the meat. If you don't have coconut water, broth or plain water will work too.

    Optional: You can brown the meat before putting it in the Instant Pot for even more flavor. Make sure to deglaze the pan and add that liquid in as well. You won't want to use too high of heat to not burn the garlic and lemongrass that may be stuck to the chicken.
  4. Add 2 fresh Thai chiles and 1-2 bruised lemongrass stocks to the broth (This step is optional).
  5. Set the Instant Pot to high pressure for 4 minutes. If you are in a hurry, you can quick release the pressure after the cooking is done then remove the lid and set it to saute mode. Add 2 Thai chiles to the broth if you want it spicier, add even more if you want it very spicy. Taste the broth and add more fish sauce or sugar to your taste. Simmer it on the saute mode for about 10-20 minutes or until the sauce has reduced to your liking.
  6. Garnish with green onion and serve with rice.

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