Sunday, 26 January 2014

Spicy Roasted Chicken Thighs with Miso and Ginger

As Chinese New Year is approaching in few days time, the Toa household is getting busier... Often at this time of year, my mom takes orders from family and close friends for her celebration cookies and tarts.  So, the past few days we have been baking non stop to meet tight deadlines.

But of course, no matter how busy we are, it's still not an excuse to stop eating well...  And no fast food from the joints either, but just good food, fast, like this spicy roasted chicken thighs in miso and ginger that we had for Sunday lunch earlier.  It is a recipe from The Kitchn, one of my go-to websites for kitchen inspirations. 

This recipe takes no time to prepare and for better flavour, you can marinate the chicken thighs overnight in the fridge.  I did it early in the morning until around lunchtime and it tastes wonderful...  Making the marinade is also a doddle... simple put the miso paste, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, lemon zest, vegetable oil and chili sauce in a blender and blitz until smooth and it's done.

You can use any chili sauce that you like... Sriracha is great, but today I use gochujang which is a traditional Korean chili paste... It is very versatile and a definite staple in my pantry. 

The original recipe calls for boneless and skinless chicken thighs.  I did remove the skin and make a couple of slashes on each thighs to ensure the marinade really seeps into the meat; but I kept the bones because I like to nibble on them :)

I like to serve the chicken with sweetcorn rice and cooked broccoli that I simply dress with soy sauce and sesame oil.  I hope you give this a go, because once you made this, you'll want to make it again, and again...

Anyway, it's past midnight now, and I need to get some sleep, because in a few hours time, the baking fun starts again! :) 

Spicy Roasted Chicken Thighs with Miso and Ginger
For complete list of ingredients and instructions, click here.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Gulai Ayam - Chicken Stewed in Coconut Milk

I'm sure there are hundreds of variations to gulai ayam... I mean, coconut milk is widely used in stews and curries from Southeast Asia to Africa... Chicken is the most common protein for gulai, but lamb or goat are popular as well. 

It is so easy to make gulai from scratch, especially this version of mine. Often when making a stew or curry like this, it involves making a spice paste.  I don't bother with that... not this time.  I just finely chop the ingredients.  So, there's a bit of chopping and grating here which I don't mind doing.  But if you want to speed up the process, you could chop the shallots, garlic, chillies, ginger, lemongrass and fresh coriander in a food processor or in a blender...and what gives the gulai that lovely marigold-yellow and uplifting colour is turmeric.

Again, I only use chicken thighs and legs here because they have more flavours and are cheaper.  But do use the white meat if you prefer that. 

The stew/curry is best served with rice, although I must say, if you have a nice crusty bread to soak up the gravy, it's delicious as well.

Chicken Stewed in Coconut Milk

6 shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
2 tsp freshly grated ginger
2 red chillies, thinly sliced
1 lemongrass, white part only, lightly bruised
A handful of fresh coriander, stalks finely chopped and leaves roughly chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
8 pieces of chicken, preferably organic
350 ml coconut milk
300 ml water
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and white pepper, to taste

Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan and add the shallots, garlic, ginger, chillies, lemongrass and coriander stalks (I accidentally add the leaves too). Cook for a couple of minutes or until fragrant.  

Add the ground turmeric, followed by the chicken pieces. Stir to make sure the chicken pieces are all coated in the spices. Pour the coconut milk and water.  Season with salt and white pepper.  When the mixture comes to a boil, add the potatoes and let this simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring from time to time.  

Before serving, add the lime juice, taste and adjust the seasoning.  Serve with rice and sprinkle over the coriander leaves.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Ayam Goreng Jawa - Javanese Style Fried Chicken - Video

Happy New Year everyone! Wishing you that the coming year is a delicious one... 

I hope all of you have recovered from the festivity and is excited to start the new year... I look forward to see what's 2014 going to bring and where it gonna takes me... Last year has not been my year, but I am gonna continue working hard to achieve my goals and keeping myself positive that things can only get better from here... One can only hope anyway.

I want to start this year where we left off with my Indonesian food series and also....*drum-rolls... a new video! Honestly, it's been really fun making these videos and I feel like I've gained a new skill as well, that is, to video edit.  When I was a media student, that's the one task I avoid as much as possible. For a group project when we had to create a television programme, I volunteered to write scripts, reports, build sets, everything else, but please don't make me edit. I mean it looks complicated but now that I'm slowly learning from video tutorials and the brilliant tech gurus of the internet, I surprisingly quite enjoy the process. What I still find strange is looking at myself in videos. 

Indonesian style fried chicken is a bit different. In a way that the chicken is cooked in advance by boiling in spices before frying.  The twice cooking step may sound tedious, but I promise it's so easy to do (you'll see soon in the video) and because the chicken is already fully cooked, the frying won't take as long.  

What makes these fried chicken, Javanese... is the spices I use to flavour the chicken. I often add my own take to a recipe, but this time, I'm keeping it pretty authentic with using only shallots, garlic, coriander, cumin and salt.  There's also candlenuts, but its main purpose really is as thickening agent to the spice paste.

Anyway, without further a due, here's the video for my Javanese style fried chicken... I hope you enjoy watching it, and don't forget to click the thumbs-up button if you do and subscribe for more videos :) Thank you!