I am a sucker for Malaysian and Indonesian food so this is right up my street. The creaminess of the coconut milk, the complex citrus flavors of the lemon grass and Kaffir lime leaf and the moist, falling off the bone chicken.
What more could you want and it’s easy too.
Vegetable or groundnut oil
1 chopped onion
8 organic chicken thighs
3 medium-hot red chilies
3 garlic cloves
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 lemongrass stalk
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 cinnamon stick
2 star anise
5 Kaffir lime leaves, sliced very finely
14 fl oz coconut milk ( or 1 can )
3 1/2 fl oz chicken stock
2 tsp soft brown sugar or palm sugar
wedges of lime
Heat a little vegetable oil in a frying pan and fry the 8 chicken thighs, skin-side down until the skin is crisp and golden.
Remove the chicken and set aside.
Whizz the chopped onion, garlic cloves, chilies, lemon grass stalk, outer leaves removed and inner core sliced, 1 tbsp grated ginger and a good glug of oil in the food processor.
Fry this paste in the same pan over a medium heat for 2 minutes, add the turmeric, cinnamon stick, 2 star anise and the finely sliced Kaffir lime leaves, then fry for 3 minutes.
Stir in the tin of coconut milk and chicken stock, sit the chicken thighs in the pan, skin-side up and simmer for about 20 minutes until the chicken is just cooked through and the sauce is reduced.
If for some reason the dish has too much liquid and it’s too thin, take out the chicken and turn the heat up to reduce the sauce, stirring, then put back the chicken thighs when the sauce has reduced and is thicker. This also increases the intensity of the sauce.
Add the 2 tsp of sugar and a dash of fish sauce.
Serve with the lime wedges to squeeze over before eating.
Serve with white rice.