|Added June 13th, 2013|
When I pestered my mom for her Asam Prawns (Tamarind Prawns) 亚参虾 recipe, I made sure I took the chance to get a couple more other recipes too, all of which are specialties of hers. This chicken rendang is one of them. An all-time big favorite of hubby, I have been procrastinating forever to have a go and try making this dish at home. That makes the only chance he gets to indulge in this is solely limited to those times when a common friend of ours, Siew Gee occasionally makes her renowned nasi lemak that often comes paired with the chicken rendang and invite us all over. My excuses? I have not got a set of mortar and pestle to begin with. I probably would have considered giving it a try if I had had a good spice blender in replacement of that. But nope, I had never been bothered investing in a good one either back then. Having neither of those definitely had set some sorts of limitation here in my kitchen. Lame, but true! lol.
Things took a change last Thanksgiving when I finally convinced myself into getting a good spice blender. Sure enough there has been a lot of blending happening since. I slowly developed an interest in spices, I have a bigger and a more complete collection of spices these days, and I started to get all so intrigued with making things from scratch. That comes with a good feeling knowing that you do and can indeed have control over certain things, not forgetting the great sense of satisfaction you get at the end of it. I do owe this very episode in making this to mom, particularly for this long proven recipe of hers. It had not been a totally easy and breezy one to make I must say, considering that this was my first as a beginner myself. But to see especially how the end result had truly made hubby all so head over heels with it, it had certainly got myself well motivated to keep me going for now.
A sneak peak at some of the many spices used...
p/s If you are reading this, Siew Gee, please please please do not stop inviting us over for your nasi lemak, chicken rendang and everything else! lol.
|Added June 13th, 2013|
(A) To be blended into paste
5 cloves garlic, skin removed and hard ends trimmed
10 shallots, skin peeled
3" ginger, skin removed and cut into chunks to ease blending
1" galangal, skin removed
10 birds eye chilies (preferably those of red ones for a better paste color)
15 dried chilies, soaked to soften, halved and seeds partially removed
1" fresh turmeric, skin peeled
5 sticks lemongrass (4" from the base), tough outer layer removed
(B) Other spices used as is
1 cinnamon stick
3 cardamom pods
5 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded
1 young chicken (about 3 to 4 lbs), skinned and trimmed then chopped into medium sized pieces
1/2 cup grated coconut
200ml thick coconut milk
1 tbsp sugar
salt to taste
4 tbsps cooking oil
1. Gather all the ingredients in (A). Using the mortar and pestle or a blender, grind them into a paste. Set aside together with all the ingredients in (B).
2. Heat up the cooking oil in a wok over medium heat and add in the paste. Spend a while stir frying them until aromatic, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add in (B) and continue stir frying for another minute or two.
3. Add in the chicken pieces followed by the water. Mix well. Cover, turn the heat down to medium-low and let simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring just occasionally.
4. We shall work on the grated coconut meanwhile. In a clean and dry skillet, toast the grated coconut over a medium heat until it turns golden brown. Transfer this into the blender and briefly blend for a few seconds. Set aside.
5. 30 minutes later, add in the thick coconut milk into the wok. Stir to mix will. Bring the heat back to medium and let simmer away uncovered. Stir occasionally as it thickens over time. Depending on how dry you prefer your rendang to be, this will take a good 30 minutes to an hour.
6. About 10 minutes before it's done, add in the toasted grated coconut and toss to mix well. By now, the liquid should have been greatly reduced.
7. Add in the sugar and salt to taste. Give it a good stir and it's ready to be served.
And something personal:
- This recipe comes with a real good kick of spiciness. Please do adjust the amount of chilies according to your own preference and tolerance. You can consider cutting it down by a quarter to begin with and adjust from there the next time you are at it again.
- Mom's recipe also called for the turmeric leaves. I didn't manage to get hold of those, thus its lack of appearance here. If you had them, shred three big leaves of those and have them included in your cooking just like how the kaffir lime leaves were incorporated.
- Also, mom's recipe did not come with the cinnamon stick and the cardamom pods in it. That was just a little tweak I made to see how it will turn out. Some minor changes based on the "rendang memory" I have had over the years lol. So they should come optional in this case. But not at all disappointing, to be honest!
- Turmeric stains! Blending that did stain the little plastic knob attached to the blender blades of mine. Sad to be saying this but I actually have not a clue on how to get rid of them. It probably doesn't bother me as much thinking that "it's a tool, and a tool gets used" lol. But I thought I should still make it a point here, just so that you can already see that coming. I have heard of people using liquid chlorine bleach to remove that. But the bleach will probably be much bigger a concern to me than to have the stain on. Anyone with any ideas?