Asian Dishes, Poultry

Devil’s Curry

I first learnt this dish from my maternal aunt who had learnt it from her mother in law. It’s very hot but not in your mouth hot. The heat gets to you from the inside. Very visceral and if you follow the traditional Eurasian recipe, you will then put in all the leftover viscera into the dish.

What makes this different from the usual Southeast Asian curries is the liberal use of mustard seeds in the rempah (spice paste). And what makes this special in this region is also that it’s a dish the Eurasian usually cook for Christmas. And since my aunt had learnt it form her mother in law who grew up in a Christian family then, this makes it the most authentic recipe I can get from a family member.

With any sort of Malay or SEA cooking, there must be the rempah. Here I have 2 onions, a knob of ginger, a knob of fresh turmeric, 8 fresh red chillies, 7 candlenuts, a tablespoon of mustard seeds and about a cup of blended dried chilli paste mixture (dried chillies, garlic, onion). Blend all the above in a blender till very smooth.
As I’ve been making videos, I realise I forgot to take pictures too for the blog. But here is the first process. Fry an additional one tablespoon of mustard seeds in hot oil first and then add sliced onions. Here I just used leftover cubes white onions. Waste not want not. The thing about cooking Asian is that it’s always very forgiving. When the onions have softened add the blended mixture and let that mixture cook over slow fire. You’ve got to constantly mix it and even cover it because boy does it splatter!
And when the spice paste is ready (the oil will rise from the mixture and you can smell that the paste is cooked), it’s time to add the chicken pieces (which I’ve only lightly marinated in light soy sauce and browned) and potatoes. Cover with enough water and let it cook till tender.
After which, add sausages. I added beef frankfurters here. And lastly cauliflower florets.

The seasoning which makes this dish different is vinegar! Yes! Distilled white vinegar. I used about 10 tablespoons in total after constantly tasting till I get the right balance. Salt and sugar of course too.

For garnish I added red bird’s eye chillies. The very brave will actually eat that too!
And here it is. Devil’s Curry. So hot it really is devilish.
Poultry

French-inspired Roast Chicken

Today’s meal is so simple but soooooo flavourful. Maybe I can call it chicken provencale but I don’t want to offend any food purists out there. But all I know it’s definitely delish! Served with my garlic and rosemary focaccia (well, the Italians had to make a presence here because currently it’s the easiest bread I know how to bake!). The family totally loved this dish!

Coat seasoned chicken pieces (yes, you have to salt the chicken too) in seasoned flour (salt and black pepper), then when one side is browned, turn over, add fresh rosemary, plenty of garlic pieces and a sprinkling of herbs de Provence (I just used the bottled herbs).
Turn over again after the other side is browned and now add two tomatoes, wedged. I added about 1/2 cup of boxed chicken stock and then transferred the entire thing to the oven.
Slightly charred because I used the roasting setting (I have impatient kids forever asking for food!) but the flavour from all this is sublime!
And now I’m worried there isn’t enough chicken! Looks like I will have to cook something else soon for later in the day!
Poultry

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

I love fried chicken. The Malay kind, the Korean kind, the US kind, the Japanese kind… I can’t imagine a country without their own fried chicken version!

Today, instead of spending lots of money ordering KFC or Texas Fried Chicken in, I decided to make my own for the family.

It starts with marinating the chicken in buttermilk for a couple of hours in the fridge. Before that, add salt to the chicken and then marinade. I’ve tried not adding salt to the chicken before and only to the flour mixture and I must say, the chicken came out pretty bland.

After that, coat the pieces in seasoned flour. Here, I use my own recipe based on the kind of spices that I like.

In this tray, I’ve added two cups of plain all purpose flour, two tablespoons of corn flour, two tablespoons of smoked sweet paprika, two teaspoons of garlic powder, two teaspoons of salt and a few rounds of freshly ground black pepper.
Remove marinated chicken and place them in
another tray. Here, I have one whole chicken cut up and six pieces of tender inner fillets.
For the broccoli slaw, I’ve cut up into small florets 1 small head of broccoli and one carrot, thinly sliced. To it I added, 1 small tub (200g) of Greek yogurt, one tablespoon of Japanese kewpie mayonnaise, one tablespoon of cider vinegar, some sea salt and black pepper mixture. Mix well and refrigerate.

And that’s all there is to it! Fry the chicken till done by mixing them to the flour mixture, serve with the slaw and mashed potatoes. I made a simple mash by boiling and ricing russet potatoes, adding salt, milk, butter and pepper. Top with mushroom soup as a sauce (I always have ready made frozen soup in the freezer.)

Two piece meal anyone?
Or perhaps three pieces?

Here’s a video I made trying to capture the entire lunch process in less than 30s. Enjoy!

Asian Dishes, Poultry

Singapore Hawker Wings

This is a recipe which is so good that you’ve got to make a big batch of it. I only made 1kg and it wasn’t enough so today, I’m marinating the other half so I can have more wings tonight!

If we ever get to travel again, and if you ever visit Singapore, you have to come down and try the food at our Hawker centres at night. Certain Hawker centres have stalls they sell bbq fare at night. Now, this is not US Texas style bbq we are talking about. Singapore style bbq is a plethora of seafood and satay grilled over charcoal. And there’s got to be wings! Marinated and skewered over a rotisserie like apparatus, these wings are flavourful and crispy and juicy all at the same time!

I managed to make these at home using the grill function of the normal oven. The other trick is to skewer the wings till they are straight using wooden skewers (unless you have the metal skewers). And one last thing is to marinade the wings as Long as you can, preferably overnight.

For the marination which I used for 1kg of wings:

1. 2 tbsp oyster sauce

2. 2 tbsp light soy sauce

3. 1 tbsp gochujang sauce (this is my own twist.)

4. 1 tbsp fish sauce

5. 1 tbsp sesame oul

6. 1 tbsp finely minced garlic

7. 1/2 tbsp finely chopped onions

And that’s it. Marinate as long as you can and then skewer the wings and using the grill setting, grill till the wings are nicely browned and crispy. Serve with homemade sambal and calamansi limes.

This is 1kg of wings (about ten wings) which I would leave in the fridge and forget all about it until it’s time to eat!
These are the wings. After they’ve been grilled you can chop them into two pieces. We love the wingtips here – they’re crispy and so yummy!
Asian Dishes, Poultry

LEMAK AYAM CHILLI PADI (CHICKEN IN BIRD’S EYE CHILLI COCONUT BROTH)

Chicken in Spicy Coconut Cream

I posted this many many years ago as one of the first few posts. This is Malay comfort food cooking because it has all the elements that we love – spicy, tangy and creamy.

I made this again recently because I had just bought these small bird’s eyes chillies that are actually quite hard to find here. These smaller versions are found easily in Malaysia and other parts of Southeast Asia, but the only kinds of bird’s eye chillies that we can find in supermarkets are the longish Thai ones.

These small ones pack a punch but the best part is you can eat them whole without realising as you put a spoonful of rice, chicken and gravy. 😅

Start by blending an onion, three cloves of garlic, a handful of bird’s eyes chilli and fresh turmeric till fine or semi-fine. For last night’s version, I chose Super fine.
Fry in oil till fragrant. Throw in two smashed lemongrass. Add water, and chicken pieces. Let it simmer till chicken is cooked.
Once chicken is cooked add a packet of coconut cream (200g) and aromatic leaves like kaffir lime leaves and turmeric leaves. Add assam pieces (tamarind fruit). Season with salt. And that is it.

The flavour is super hot, tangy (from the tamarind) and creamy (from the coconut). Eat with hot rice and a side of stir fried greens and you’re set to go. 😃