Monday, July 4, 2011

Indonesian Style Spicy Grilled Chicken - Ayam Panggang Padang

Padang style cooking in Indonesia refers to the Minangkabau tribe who hails from Sumatra, the island northwest of Jakarta. Why will I be interested in making Minangkabau food? Cos of rendang, their thick creamy coconut curry. I love making rendang in the winter months as it is the perfect time to make a stew like dish. However, in the summer when the outdoor grill beckons, the Padang-style grilled chicken calls my name.

The perfect accompaniment to the spicy grilled chicken will of course be coconut rice. The family loves this dish so much so that I have already been given the green light to make it a staple on dinner table as often as I want to. Nice!

Indonesian Style Spicy Grilled Chicken with Coconut Rice- Ayam Panggang Padang
3.5-4lb chicken, cut into quarters or 3 split chicken breast, cut in half
1 stick of cinnamon
3 pieces cloves
3 pieces kafir lime leaves
1 piece turmeric leaf
2 cups coconut milk
3 Tbsp cooking oil

Spices to grind
4 pieces chilli peppers
3 cloves garlic
4 shallots
3 pieces candlenut or walnuts
1/2 tsp whole peppercorn
1 tsp whole coriander
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp fennel
1-inch ginger
1.5 inch turmeric

Coconut Rice
1 cup uncooked rice, washed and drained
2/3 cup coconut milk
3/4 cup water
1 screwpine leaf/pandan leaf, tied in a knot
1/4 tsp salt 

Step 1: Brine chicken in water-salt-sugar mix for 2 hours. Drained and pat dry with a paper towel. Set aside.

Step 2: In a grinder, ground black pepper, coriander, fennel, cumin and walnuts to till fine.

Step 3: In a food processor, combine ground spices with chillies, garlic and shallots. Blend well and set aside.

Step 4: In a pan over low heat, combine chilli mix with cloves and cinnamon stick. Stir and let cook for 10 minutes till spices is cooked and oil is separated from the spice mix.

Step 5: Add in chicken pieces and stir to mix well. Turn heat up to medium. Cook for 20 minutes.

Step 6: Add in coconut milk. Stir to mix well.

Step 7: Cook till gravy is reduced by 1/3, about 25 minutes. Stir constantly.

Step 8: Transfer chicken and gravy to a baking pan lined with foil. Heat a grill to 450F. Turn off the center burner. Place baking pan at the center of grill. Cook till gravy has all dried up. Remove chicken from pan and place on grate directly. Grill chicken till it is lightly charred.

Step 9: Spoon remainder gravy over grilled chicken.

Step 10: To make coconut rice, combine 2/3 cup coconut milk, 3/4 cup water, salt, 1 cup uncooked rice and a pandan leaf in a pot. Bring water to a boil over medium low heat, stir occasionally to avoid burnt. Once it starts boiling, reduce heat to low. Cook over low heat for 25 minutes.

Step 11: Remove pandan leaf. Let rice sit for 10 minutes before serving. Fluff coconut rice with a fork.

Step 12: Serve chicken with coconut rice and fresh salad.

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