A Blog devoted to progressive politics, environmental issues, LGBT issues, social justice, workers' rights, womens' rights, and, most importantly, Cats.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Ayam Masak Golek

This recipe calls for aniseed, which is not very often used in Southeast Asian cooking. However, my recent exposure to a nice Sumatran Nasi Padang restaurant leads me to believe that aniseed is a primary ingredient in the Ayam Rendang. But, without further ado:

1 chicken, approximately 4 lb, cut in 16 or more pieces
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp anise seeds
15 candlenuts
4 tomatoes
2 shallots
2 green onions
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
Approximately 3 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste

Wash chicken, pat dry thoroughly, and season with salt and pepper. Let stand for about an hour, uncovered.

Dry-roast the cumin seeds in a heavy skillet over very low heat, stirring constantly, until lightly browned and fragrant. Set aside and dry roast the anise seeds. Grind the seeds in a clean coffee grinder, preferably one used exclusively for grinding spices. Place the freshly ground spice powders in a food processor with the candlenuts and grind to a smooth paste, adding coconut milk as needed. Do not let this paste become too watery!!

Peel the shallots and slice thinly. Chop the tomatoes, and thinly slice the green onions.

Heat a large, flat-bottomed skillet, then add the oil and when the oil is smoking, brown chicken pieces in batches, reducing heat to keep the chicken from burning. Drain on paper towels and set aside. Pour off oil so that there is not more than 3 Tbsp. in the pan. Add the spice paste and turn down heat to low. Cook, stirring, for approximately 2 minutes until the spice mixture releases its fragrance and the oil "returns."

Add shallots and white part of green onions, and stir for a minute or so, add tomatoes, stir till slightly collapsed, about 3 minutes. Add rice vinegar, stir, add coconut milk gently at low heat, stir to blend, then add salt and pepper to taste. When the mixture begins to thicken, add chicken and simmer till tender. Serve garnished with remaining green onions.

If you cannot find candlenuts, macadamias are a good substitute. Try Kara brand coconut cream from Indonesia, for good results. Otherwise, Orchid is a good Thai brand - be sure to mix well before using, the cream tends to float, leaving a thin, watery milk below it. You want a mixture of the cream and milk. Spice seeds should be fresh for maximum flavor. Kosher salt is preferable, also freshly ground whole peppercorns.

Stumble It!


At 9:42 PM, Blogger McBlogget said...

Sounds lovely!

At 12:27 PM, Blogger ThePoliticalCat said...

I made it for you once awreddy.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home