Sunday, March 4, 2012

Ayam Panggang Menado

Finally I have gotten tired of baking (really?) and so, this weekend I decided not to bake.  But the novice cook in me, is calling me from deep inside my bowels!  It's telling me that if I don't want to bake today, I should at least cook.  

What to cook?  I know the main ingredient has to be chicken!  And so I flipped through some old magazines, and I do mean old (five years old, that is!).  I eventually came upon an Indonesian chicken recipe that I felt would cater to my family's taste buds!  The most interesting thing about this recipe is not the ingredients or it's origin, but the magazine in which it is printed!  A Chinese magazine (Did I really buy this magazine?)

Well, it was a Chinese magazine, but for the recipe it had the English version.  And so, that's how I decided to make Ayam Panggang Menado or Menado Grilled Chicken!
  • 1/2 a chicken, quartered
  • 1 tsp tamarind pulp, mixed with 2 tbs water
  • 2 plum tomatoes, diced*
  • 10 red chilies, sliced*
  • 3 cloves garlic*
  • 5 shallots*
  • 1 thumb size ginger*
  • 1 small piece fresh turmeric*
  • 3 candlenuts*
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds*
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds*
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns*
  • 2 tbs grated 'gula kabung'
  • 1 fragrant screwpine leaf, torn and tied in a knot
  • 1 lemongrass, bruised
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • Salt to taste

Clean the chicken and marinade with the tamarind juice.  Set aside and proceed with the rest of the recipe.
Blitz all the ingredients labeled (*) in a blender until fine.  Heat the oil in a wok.   When hot, put in the fragrant screwpine and lemon grass followed by the blended ingredients.  Fry until aromatic and cooked.  Slowly put in the chicken quarters, together with the tamarind juice.  Add about three cups of plain water, bring to the boil and continue to simmer for about ten minutes until chicken is tender and sauce is reduced by half.  Season with salt.

Take out the chicken pieces from the sauce and grille on stove top until the skin becomes crispy, basting once with the sauce.  This process can also be done under the broiler in an oven set to 200 C.

P.S.  If you prefer this dish to be creamier, substitute the water with the same quantity of coconut cream.

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