The humble chicken thigh is the tastiest part of the bird because it does all the work, meaning the flesh is a little darker than the breast. It’s also rather fatty, which is the secret to all that flavour. I always buy them with skin on and cook them without oil in a searing hot pan. In 15 to 20 minutes your house will be filled with the glorious scent of caramelised chicken and the thighs will be crispy, crunchy and cooked through.
Place a large, heavy frypan over high heat for 4 minutes then add the seasoned chicken thighs, skin-side down. Cook for 8 minutes over medium heat then turn over and cover with a piece of baking paper. Weight down the chicken pieces with another saucepan and cook for a further 6 minutes. Remove the paper and extra pan. Flip the chicken skin-side down again to crisp the skin for another couple of minutes. Absorb some of the fat with paper towels, then drizzle with nam jim. Remove from pan and pile onto a platter.
To make the salad, cut the wombok into wedges and arrange on a platter. Toss the herbs with the shallots, chilli, fish sauce, lime juice, half the crispy shallots and half the peanuts. Pile this herb mixture over the wombok wedges. Sprinkle with the remaining nuts and crispy shallots. Drop on the extra lime wedges. Serve the salad with the chicken, steamed rice, and a big dipping dish of my nam jim. Giant prawn crackers are a nice addition too.
See my nam jim recipe for the dipping sauce.