Monday, December 10, 2007

Chicken, Malaysian Style

i know i've told you about CRADLE OF FLAVOR, this cookbook that "ahs" me to no end. last time, all i made out of it was coconut rice and it was heavenly. honest. since i haven't been as faithful to my trusty blog, i knew you would forgive me (okay, HOPED) for jumping a little more heavily into a cookbook that takes my breath away. this time, i made something that had intrigued me since first reading through this amazing tome. it was NYONYA-STYLE SPICED FRIED CHICKEN, a 6 hour event at the very least, if done properly, and really something that should take a couple of days.

this is a long, drawn out recipe that is rather intensive, so i won't go into all the details. suffice it to say you need to marinate chicken in a wonderful paste/sauce made with shallots and cinnamon stick, beautiful spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric and fennel. lovely flavors like coconut milk with a kick from dried red chiles. you can use already cut chicken, but i like cutting down a whole chicken for this, because it seems to lend itself for more flavor to seep into the meat. and seep it did over the course of 4 hours of marinating (you can marinate overnight if you've got the time -- i actually had the time, just didn't organize myself well enough to get it done the night before), then you take the chicken out of this paste-like marinade, dry it off for better frying, then fry it in hot oil, about 1-inch worth. and, i'll tell you, this was juicy, flavorful and amazing over simple white rice with some glorious sauteed greens with garlic. oh, so good. brandon and i ate it together that night, because nicholas was out with his big bro. he had helped me put it all together and was so proud at the finished product. it took some time, but it was worth it.

funny. i've talked about this book before (by James Oseland) and can't stop wishing i could go there again, be in the midst of all of this amazing passion for flavorful, exciting cooking. looking through the book, touching it even, you know something unique is going on. i so highly recommend it, if for no other reason than to lose yourself for awhile. all of us want to travel somewhere exotic once in our life. this lets you do it every night in little ways, if you want. this sense of island beauty and wonder.

our meal was succulent, delicious and enticed all of our senses. life is good. so good.

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