The bubbling clay pots served at Asian restaurants are always enticing, especially when their lids are removed to reveal the steamy, savory contents. If you don’t have a clay pot at home, you can still make your own version in a Dutch oven. Serve this easy braised chicken with Sautéed Bok Choy and some steamed rice to soak up the flavorful sauce.
Game plan: The chicken can be marinated up to a day in advance.
Place the brown sugar and water in a large clay pot or Dutch oven with a tightfitting lid over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil; add the ginger, garlic, soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, star anise, and chiles; and stir to combine. Remove the pot from the heat and let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
Add the chicken pieces and turn to coat in the marinade. Let sit at room temperature uncovered for 1 hour, or cover and marinate in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
If covered, uncover the pot and place it over high heat. Add the chicken broth and onion and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the chicken is tender, about 1 hour.
Remove the chicken to a serving plate. Increase the heat to medium and simmer vigorously until the sauce has slightly darkened in color and has reduced by about a third, about 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Garnish the chicken with cilantro and serve with the sauce and steamed rice.