I am a huge fan of Ray Mc Vinnie and his take on classic recipes. Sunday’s highlight is reading the Sunday Star Times Ray McVinnie food section for two recipes he supplies each week. I was excited when I saw the picture of his Balinese coconut Chicken, my mouth was watering. I have never been to Bali and thought I was not familiar with this style of cooking. I liked the look of crisp tender green beans, simple sliced cucumber and a delectable looking roast chicken turned into a cold coconut curry with plain steamed rice.
As I started to prepare the recipe I realised I had no Malaysian shrimp paste and that the recipe felt similar to a Lindsey Bareham recipe I had made from her book The Fish Store (Highly recommend this book). Lindseys recipe is called a Malaysian Chicken Rendang which her fore-word says is a famous curry eaten for breakfast in Malaysia. I fondly remember eating lots of curries for breakfast when I travelled through Nepal and India, the breakfast curry is strangley perfect in a hot climate. This version originates in nearby Indonesia or Western Sumatra where it is made so hot and spicy it keeps at room temperature for a week. Lindsey and Ray’s versions are softened with plenty of coconut cream to stop your head blowing off!.
Malaysian/Indonesian Style coconut Chicken
(recipe adapted from Lindsey Bareham and Ray McVinnie)
- 1 size 14 free-range chicken
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 6 Tbsp soy bean oil
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 Tbsp finely chopped ginger
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 red capsicum
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 150 ml cold water
- 1/2 cup lightly toasted desiccated coconut
- 400ml thick coconut cream
- 4 Tbsp chopped coriander
- lime juice, to taste
- 1/2 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced; 200g green beans, stalk ends removed, blanched in boiling water for 4 minutes, cooled under cold water, well drained, mint or coriander leaves to garnish
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°c. Cut down each side of the chicken’s back bone (I use kitchen scissors) and discard the back bone or keep to make chicken stock. Cut through the middle of the breast bone so the chicken is in two halves.
- Put the garlic in a roasting dish and place the chicken on top, skin side up. Drizzle 2 Tbsp of oil over the chicken and season well. Place in the oven for 1 hour until cooked through and browned.
- Place the finely chopped ginger, onion, red capsicum, 1/2 tsp chilli flakes, 1/2 tsp ground turmeric, 1 tsp ground
coriander and 150 ml cold water in the bowl of a food processor and blitz till you have a smooth paste.
- Heat the oil in a wide hot pan or wok and add the puree and cook for 15-20 minutes till it has darkened a bit and is fragrant.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and when cold enough to handle, take the crisp skin and meat of the bones and shred coarsely.
- Mix the chicken, toasted desiccated coconut, fresh coriander, coconut cream and bring to the boil and simmer for 6 minutes or until it is very hot. Add the lime juice, salt and pepper so the mixture is pleasantly tart and well seasoned.
- Serve with steamed rice, sliced cucumber, green beans and mint leaves.