Wednesday, March 12, 2014

chicken with lemongrass and sambal oelek

I have this thing for lemongrass.

The problem with cooking with lemongrass though, is more often than not, quite a bit of work is involved. By this, I do not mean you need to slave away in the kitchen for hours, but compared to cooking something like a stir-fried chicken dish, it does require a bit more effort.

Today I woke up feeling a bit down. I had a full day - 6 hours of lessons - and I was really not looking forward to it.

I knew I had to get dinner done early since I would be busy, and I had some chicken thighs sitting in the fridge. Wondering what to do with the chicken, I finally decided to cook this dish, hoping that the cooking process would cheer me up a little.

The first thing I did was to cut the boneless chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces. I left the skin on, but do remove the skin if you wish.

To the chicken, I added some salt, the zest and juice of a lemon and some turmeric powder.

Once everything was mixed, I covered the bowl with cling film and placed the chicken in the fridge to marinate for an hour.

While that happened, I pounded together garlic, ginger, lemongrass and shallots. You can also blend these in a blender. I just like pounding stuff in the kitchen. :)

I also mixed together sambal oelek (a mixture of only chilli and salt), dark soy sauce, salt, sugar and pepper. I didn't have any green chillis so I left them out.

I added corn flour to the chicken, mixed to coat evenly and fried the chicken in batches until they turned golden brown. Once done, I placed the chicken on kitchen towels to drain.

In a heated wok, I added a little vegetable oil. The garlic/ ginger/ shallot/ lemongrass paste was added to the hot oil and stir-fried for a couple of minutes.

I added the chilli mixture, and continued to stir-fry for another 30 seconds.

The chicken was added, and stirred to mix.

Once the chicken was coated with the sauce, you are ready to eat.

This dish is not spicy at all. Rather, it is a little sweet, somewhat sour (from the lemon and lemongrass) and extremely flavourful.

It really did cheer me up quite a bit. :)

Chicken With Lemongrass and Sambal Oelek (Serves 6-8)
Adapted from mykitchensnippets

1 chicken, cut to bite-sized pieces - I used 1kg boneless chicken thighs
1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
2 teaspoon of salt
Juice of one lemon
3 tablespoon of flour (for coating the chicken) - I used corn flour

Blended ingredients:
3 shallots
5 cloves of garlic
1" of ginger
2 stalks lemongrass - use the tender part

3 tablespoon of sambal oelek
2 tablespoon of dark soy sauce
3 green chilies, sliced - I omitted this
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
 1/2 teaspoon sugar

1) Marinate the chicken with turmeric powder, salt and lemon juice for an hour.
2) Coat the chicken with flour and then fry till golden brown. Drain the oil.
3) Leave about 2 tbsp of oil in the pan and then saute the blended ingredients until lightly brown and fragrant.
4) Add in the sambal olek, soy sauce and seasonings and cook for 1 min.
5) Add in the chicken, chilies and stir-fry till the sauce is well coated with the chicken.
6) Serve with warm rice.

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