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Yellow chicken gulai

When Alya first learned how to cook, she learned this recipe from her mother, who said this is “the easiest dish to make if you are lazy”. While the ingredients are indeed relatively sparse compared to many other Malay- and Nyonya-centric gravy-based dishes, it delivers the same comforting satisfaction.

 

Tableware by Ilham Ceramic Studio.

Yellow chicken gulai

by Alya Ngu

When Alya first learned how to cook, she learned this recipe from her mother, who said this is “the easiest dish to make if you are lazy”. While the ingredients are indeed relatively sparse compared to many other Malay- and Nyonya-centric gravy-based dishes, it delivers the same comforting satisfaction.

 

Tableware by Ilham Ceramic Studio.

Servings: 4

Prep time: Quick

Servings: 4

Prep time: Quick

6 chicken thighs or breast pieces, depending on preference for dark or white meat

1 tsp salt

½ tsp MSG

2 tbsp vegetable oil

3 cili padi (stems removed), roughly pounded or chopped

2 lemongrass stalks (white part only), crushed lightly

250 ml coconut milk

750 ml water

2 pieces asam keping

1 tsp turmeric powder

  1. Pat the chicken pieces dry and sprinkle the salt and MSG over. Massage well and marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. When ready to cook, heat a wide-bottomed saucepan on medium heat and pour in the vegetable oil, swirling to coat the base of the pot. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the chicken pieces skin-side down. Do not fuss with the chicken! Leave it alone to develop some colour for about 5 minutes, then turn the chicken pieces over. The chicken should release from the pan with little resistance. Sear for a further 5 minutes.
  3. Move the chicken pieces to one side of the pan, then add the chillies and lemongrass. Fry it in the oil and rendered chicken fat for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Turn the heat down to medium low. Pour in the coconut milk and mix everything together. Add enough water so the liquids come up to about ¾ of the way up the chicken; do not submerge the chicken completely in the coconut milk.
  5. Add in the asam keping and turmeric, then stir everything together well.
  6. Adjust the flame if necessary to keep the liquids at a simmer, then cover the pot. Leave the chicken to cook for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the coconut milk doesn’t scald at the bottom of the pot.
  7. After 20-30 minutes, the chicken pieces should be cooked through, registering about 74°C on a meat thermometer.
  8. Serve warm with hot white rice.

Tips

  • Alya likes to use gochugaru (Korean red chilli pepper powder) as a substitute for fresh chillies. This makes the gravy spicy and slurpable as an extra treat.
  • If asam keping is unavailable, use 2 tsp tamarind paste, or a 1 tbsp equal mixture of lime juice and brown sugar.

Ingredients

6 chicken thighs or breast pieces, depending on preference for dark or white meat

1 tsp salt

½ tsp MSG

2 tbsp vegetable oil

3 cili padi (stems removed), roughly pounded or chopped

2 lemongrass stalks (white part only), crushed lightly

250 ml coconut milk

750 ml water

2 pieces asam keping

1 tsp turmeric powder

Directions

  1. Pat the chicken pieces dry and sprinkle the salt and MSG over. Massage well and marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. When ready to cook, heat a wide-bottomed saucepan on medium heat and pour in the vegetable oil, swirling to coat the base of the pot. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the chicken pieces skin-side down. Do not fuss with the chicken! Leave it alone to develop some colour for about 5 minutes, then turn the chicken pieces over. The chicken should release from the pan with little resistance. Sear for a further 5 minutes.
  3. Move the chicken pieces to one side of the pan, then add the chillies and lemongrass. Fry it in the oil and rendered chicken fat for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Turn the heat down to medium low. Pour in the coconut milk and mix everything together. Add enough water so the liquids come up to about ¾ of the way up the chicken; do not submerge the chicken completely in the coconut milk.
  5. Add in the asam keping and turmeric, then stir everything together well.
  6. Adjust the flame if necessary to keep the liquids at a simmer, then cover the pot. Leave the chicken to cook for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the coconut milk doesn’t scald at the bottom of the pot.
  7. After 20-30 minutes, the chicken pieces should be cooked through, registering about 74°C on a meat thermometer.
  8. Serve warm with hot white rice.

Tips

  • Alya likes to use gochugaru (Korean red chilli pepper powder) as a substitute for fresh chillies. This makes the gravy spicy and slurpable as an extra treat.
  • If asam keping is unavailable, use 2 tsp tamarind paste, or a 1 tbsp equal mixture of lime juice and brown sugar.

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© Copyright Periuk 2021

© Copyright Periuk 2021