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Thankyou to Allan Campion who included a link to this blog in his most recent Newsletter.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Red Roast Baby Chicken With Prickly Ash, Green Nam Jim, Sweet Soy and Chilli Sambal

Let me start off by saying that I'm pretty sure that this is the best meal I have ever eaten! I loved everything about it!
Since I started this Ezard Challenge, I decided to purchase a neat little Sunbeam deep-fryer from ebay. It's an awesome little gadget - I love being able to set the required temperature to what I want and a couple of minutes later, I'm right to go. Only problem is that I takes 4 litres of oil, which costs about $10. Luckily I don't have to fill it that often.
When I spotted this dish in the book, I thought it was kind of strange, but also cool to have a whole baby chicken, sitting on your plate. I tracked down my baby chickens from the Vic Market, which were $6 each. A tad expensive if you were cooking them for a dinner party for 6 people, so thankfully I was only cooking for 2.

You have to start off by stuffing the little chickens with roughly chopped ginger and spring onions. Then you have to close off the cavity using toothpicks. You then poach the chickens in master stock for about 30 minutes and then leave to cool in the stock.

You've got three condiments that go with your chicken, there's your prickly ash, which is basically toasted salt and szechuan pepper bashed up in a mortar and pestle. You've also got Green Nam Jim, which is basically lots of green chillies with shallots, lime juice, fish sauce and sugar. I unfortunately couldn't find any green birds eye chillies, so I went with red.

The third condiment is a mixture of soy sauces.... Tamari, Kecap Manis and Light Soy.
With your Jasmine Rice you also have Chilli Sambal. Which is a sautee'd mix of shallots, chillies, ginger, garlic and kaffir lime.

Once you've got all your condiments ready to go, place them on their little plates and then place them on the plates. Ezard says to cut out a little circle of banana leaf and place it on the plate for decoration, but a pack of banana leaves it $8, so I thought I'd pass on the decoration.
Heat your oil to 180 and put your cooled chicken into the oil. Cook it until it's crispy and golden brown. This took about 8 minutes for mine. Take the chicken out and drain it, patting it dry with paper towel, this will help it go crispy. Make sure you drain the chicken from the cavity as well as quite a bit of oil will get stuck in there.
You will need to put your chicken with it's back up and use a sharp knife to remove the chicken's back bone, which will make it more pleasant and easier to eat.

Now you're all done. Plate it all up, place your rice in a bowl and the sambal on top and you're ready to dig in!! Don't use a knife and fork... pick it up with your hands and get greasy! (although you might need a fork for your rice) You can dip your chicken pieces into all the different condiments, it's great. The chicken is SO tender, I guess because it's been poached in the Master Stock and then Deep Fried. You can taste the Master Stock, which is what gives the chicken it's Asian flavour. I cannot give enough praise to this dish, we totally loved it. And just think if I cooked it this well, imagine how well it's done at the restaurant! If it's on the menu next time I go, I'll definately be ordering this!

1 comment:

mellie said...

Oh wow - that looks totally and unbelievably fantastic! I just love the interaction with the dish. It would be a pure delight to do that for a dinner party.