Thursday, August 25, 2011

A die-die-must-try recipe: Sambal Roasted Chicken

Sambal Roasted Chicken: already half-cooked using dry, direct heat and now
second half to be roasted in the oven for half an hour at 180C. 

Lesson on dry heat continues today with Malay cuisine. Today's 2 dishes are Sambal Roasted Chicken and Sambal Ayam Bunga Kantan (Spicy Chicken with Ginger Flower). I wasn't super thrilled hearing the recipe and dragged my feet on preparing the mise en place but when the sambal (spice paste) started simmering in the pot, it had my full, undivided attention. The aroma filled the entire school! Our class of 15 agreed unanimously this is by far the best recipe we have tasted since joining this course, and I strongly recommend for you to try it. It's worth your every calorie count.

Here are pictures of most of the ingredients we used.

Galangal, also known as blue ginger or lengkuas.
It's stronger than ginger.
Candlenut or Buah Keras. Looks like macademia. It has no
flavour and is used as a natural thickening agent.
Kaffir lime leaves, also commonly found in Thai cuisine
Dried chilli. Soak in water and boil to soften.
Fresh red chilli
Fresh Garlic
Belachan or dried shrimp paste. Pungent and very salty but will add another layer of flavor to your food.
1 tsp for every 300g chicken
Fresh Shallots
Coriander seeds. We pounded this on the mortar to get coriander powder. I strongly recommend that you buy the powder!
Gula melaka or palm sugar, ie, hard sugar from coconut palm.
Good ingredient to add if your paste gets too salty.
Ginger flower or bunga kantan, also used in local rojak and laksa.
Slice diagonally and thinly. 
Turmeric powder
Top tips for a good spice paste in Malay cuisine from Chef:
1. You must have enough oil to cover all the paste when in pot. This is important in Malay cuisine. Don't be afraid of using too much oil!
2. Heat must be medium to low so as not to burn the paste.
3. Don't stir too often. Stir and let rest. The paste needs time to simmer and release the oil for aroma and taste.
4. Every part of the paste must be sizzling.

Paste is all covered in oil. 
There is a shine in the paste, meaning, oil is released. A good sign.
Don't be afraid to see oil. It gives out good aroma and flavour. " Fat gives flavour, " Julia Child.
I abandoned all notions of healthy eating for this culinary adventure.
It's worth every calorie count.
When half done, we popped it in the oven to roast for another half hour at 180C. It should look somewhat charred and "dried up" after 30 minutes.
It was supposed to be food tasting but there was nothing left after 10 minutes. The class loved this dish!
Moist inside.
I tried to plate it while others were attacking the food savagely.
On the left is sambal roast chicken, right is spicy chicken with ginger flower.

So finally, here's the recipe for both dishes. Perfect for Hari Raya next week. Ingredients are similar but the taste is distinctly different and yummilicious!

A. Sambal Roast Chicken
One whole chicken cut into half. Use kampung or free range chicken.
2 inches galangal slices
4 lime leaves
2 stalks lemongrass, bruised
200ml coconut milk (or santan)
3-6 Tbsp cooking oil
1 Tbsp gula melaka or palm sugar
1.5tsp salt

Spice paste:
8 dried red chillies, seeded and soaked to soften
6 shallots
3 garlic cloves
1.5 inch ginger
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin 

1. Roast coriander and cumin to release oil and aroma.
2. Pound all spice paste ingredients together to a fine paste. Set aside.
3. Heat oil in pan. Stir-fry spice paste until fragrant, about 10 min. 
4. Add coconut milk, lime leaves, lemongrass, galangal, salt and gula melaka. Stir well. Add chicken and cook for about 15-20 min over simmering heat, turning a few times until it's half-cooked. (Skin will blister and separate from meat).
5. Preheat oven to 180C
6. Transfer chicken to a roasting pan and pour sauce over it.
7. Roast for 30 min or until browned. Ready to serve.

B. Spicy Chicken with Ginger Flower (Sambal Ayam Bunga Kantan)

600g boneless chicken legs cut into bite-sized pieces
10 shallots thinly sliced
8 dried chillis soaked in warm water, seeded
6 fresh chilli
8 garlic cloves
5 candlenut
5 lime leaves
4-6 Tbsp cooking oil
2 Tbsp water
2 tsp belachan (dried shrimp paste)
2 stalks ginger flower, thinly sliced
0.5 tsp turmeric powder
0.5 cup tamarind juice (or assam) - for colour, taste and texture. 
0.5 tsp coriander powder

1. Pound candlenut, chilli, shallots, red onion and shrimp paste in a mortar to fine paste
2. Heat oil in frying pan over medium heat, stirring regularly so as not to burn, and until fragrant. Add tamarind juice to fluff up the paste
3. Add chicken and lime leaves. Continue cooking, stirring regularly until chicken is done, about 10 mins. Season with salt and sugar to taste. Lastly, add the sliced ginger flower, cook for 5 mins.
4. Transfer to serving plate. Serve with steamed rice.

Enjoy and Selamat Hari Raya Adilfitri!

1 comment:

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