Indonesia - Opor Ayam
Have you had Indonesian food before?
Mildly spiced chicken cooked in coconut milk. This was suggested to me by a wonderful follower and what an amazing suggestion it was. I’m glad it was suggested because this isn’t something that popped up when I was searching for Indonesian dishes to make. And making something that inspires and is unique is part of why I’m doing this project. Sure, I could’ve made another fried rice dish (nasi goreng in this case) or a curry, but I really wanted something more unique that doesn’t normally pop up on top 10 lists! I expected this to be a heavy dish because of the coconut milk, but it was actually very flavorful, had a nice kick of spice, and was lighter than I expected.
This dish originated from Central Java but unfortunately I’m not very well aware of the geography. But what I do know is that Indonesia looks to have very spice and herb heavy dishes and mainly focused on rice. Could definitely get used to this!
1 1/2 lbs chicken (chopped or whole pieces)
1 tbsp tamarind pulp
1/2 inch ginger
4-5 cloves of garlic
1-inch piece galangal
3-4 red chilies (sub habanero)
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp coriander
2 tbsp oil
1-inch stalk lemongrass (bruised)
3-4 kaffir lime leaves
2 bay leaves
Fried shallots (to garnish)
14 oz can coconut milk
Another quick and easy recipe with lots of delicious flavors.
Marinade the chicken with salt and tamarind pulp for 15-20 minutes in a Ziploc bag. I also added a little bit of water to get make it easier to spread around.
In a blender, grind the shallots, ginger, garlic, galangal, chilies, peanuts, salt, sugar, cumin, pepper, turmeric, and coriander with a little water to make a smooth paste. I know, lots of ingredients, but the mixture will be well worth it.
I did this in a big pan, but it will be better if you do this in a pot. Mine may have been a little too full - I could barely cover the pan with the lid. Heat a big pot over medium-high heat and add oil. When the oil is shimmering and ready, add the lemongrass, lime leaves, and bay leaves. I typically use the bottled stuff because I don't have easy access to actual lemongrass stalks. Stir until you can smell the aroma. Add the mixture from the blender, and saute for 1-2 minutes.
Add the chicken and saute for 2-3 minutes, making sure to rotate the chicken to coat well. Add the coconut milk and stir to incorporate throughout. Lower the heat to medium-low, and simmer for about 25 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked.
Garnish the Opor Ayam with some fried shallots and thinly sliced chilis. Serve with some turmeric flavored rice.
Recipe adapted from Sanjeev Kapoor Recipes.