Amy's spicy Nyonya chicken
less than 30 mins
30 mins to 1 hour
This is a simple South-East Asian chicken curry, rich and fragrant with spices. The person who introduced me to this dish, Amy, says she often stirs in a little lime juice and coconut milk at the end to ‘wake up the curry’.
By Rick Stein
For the spice paste
- 6 dried red chillies, preferably Kashmiri, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes, then drained
shallots, thinly sliced
- 3 fat
lemongrass stalks, hard outer leaves removed, soft inner core chopped
garlic, peeled, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp shrimp paste (available from some supermarkets and Asian grocers)
galangal or root ginger, peeled, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp
For the chicken
- 2 tbsp
- 1 x 1.5kg/3lb 5oz
chicken, cut into 8 pieces
lemongrass stalks, bruised with a rolling pin then cut in half lengthways
- 200ml/7fl oz water
- 1 tsp palm sugar (available from some supermarkets and Asian grocers; substitute golden
caster sugar if unavailable)
lime, juice only
salt, to taste
For the spice paste, blend all of the spice paste ingredients together in a food processor until smooth.
For the chicken, heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, add the chicken pieces and fry until pale golden-brown all over.
Add the spice paste to the pan and fry for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant.
Add the bruised lemongrass stalks, lime leaves and water and bring the mixture to a simmer. Simmer for 30-40 minutes, turning the chicken pieces over now and again, until the chicken pieces are completely cooked through and the volume of liquid has reduced by about a half. (NB: The chicken pieces are cooked through when the juices run clear when pierced in the thickest part with a skewer.)
When the chicken is cooked through, stir in the palm sugar and lime juice and season, to taste, with salt.
Serve immediately in serving bowls.
This curry is very hot, if you like your curries a bit miler reduce the amount of chilli.