The cold winter is back. Something calming, and gratifying are so much needed at this time around. H asked me the other day to cook fried chicken. I could tell from his tone, he had longed for it far too long. Can you say no to such request?!! Well, I just couldn't. Last year was the last time I had this back in Indonesia. I missed it as much as H too.
This fried chicken had rescued my mom in so many occasion especially when she was too tired to prepare meals for us. This chicken is always served hot with some crunchy topping made out of the liquid where the chicken cooks in. Besides the fried chicken, we also had the fried tofu, and tempe which also boiled in the same spice mix like the chicken.
Traditionally, if you have this either in the restaurants or at many hawker stalls, they will give you a bowl of water with a wedge of lemon or lime in it. This water is used to clean your hands after you finished your meal. I miss those good old days.
When I plated the chicken for the shoot, it took me right back to my childhood. I could have pile and pile of rice with 1/4 chicken, heaps of crunchy topping, fried tempe, tofu, and the sambal. I just couldn't get enough of it. Indonesians love their sambals, they are heaps of them. They normally serve this with sambal terasi made from ground chilies, shrimp paste, sugar, salt, and a bit of lime juice. But, you can substitute it with a sambal recipe that I posted here.
I love it, and H love it..Divine!
Indonesian fried chicken (Ayam goreng keremes)
1 whole chicken (about 1.5 kg, I do prefer free range), cut and remove excess fat
1 medium spanish onion
8 cloves garlic
4 candle nuts
1 tbsp coriander seed, toasted
2 tsp salt
5 galangal slices
10 Indonesian bay leaves
2 tsp ground tumeric (optional, just to give the chicken a nice yellow colour)
For the topping:
600 ml of the remaining liquid (top up with water if you have less than 600 ml remain)
2 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp rice flour
1 tsp baking powder
1. For the chicken : Use a food processor, blend the spanish onion, garlic, candle nuts, coriander seed, and salt, and tumeric (optional) until it resembles smooth paste.
2. Massage the chicken with this paste.
3. Place it in a pot, add the galangal slices, indonesian bay leaves, and top it with water just enough to cover the chicken.
4. Cook the chicken under medium heat for 1 hour or until tender.
5. Take it off the heat, take out the chicken, set aside.
6. When you about to serve it, fry the chicken until golden brown.
7. For the topping: Strain the chicken's liquid and top it with water up to 600 ml.
8. Bring the liquid to a boil, season to taste, take it off the heat.
9. In a bowl mix the plain flour, rice flour with a little water.
10. Pour the flour mixture into the liquid, and stir to combine.
11. Add baking powder to the liquid, mix well.
12. Heat the oil, pour 4-5 tbsp of the liquid mixture, be careful! it will splatter.
13. After a minute or so, and the topping is slightly drier, scoop out the topping.
14. Continue frying until all the liquid is used.
15. Serve it together with a warm boiled rice.
n.b Add sliced hard tofu or tempe to the poaching liquid and cook it together with the chicken.