This baked Indonesian-style chicken is a healthier alternative to fried chicken while retaining all its crisp, juicy and tender goodness. Leave to marinate in our special spice paste for a few hours for a strong burst of flavour upon baking.
- 4 chicken legs (963 g)
- 1 tbsp seedless tamarind paste
- Pinch of salt
- 4 candlenuts
- 4 stalks of lemongrass (use 5 cm of the white root part)
- 20 g ginger, chopped
- 4 Thai lime leaves, shredded finely
- 10 g fresh turmeric, chopped
- 20 g galangal, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 5 shallots, sliced
- 1 tbsp water
- 2 tbsps cooking oil
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 100 ml reduced fat coconut milk
- ¾ tsp salt
Cut the chicken legs into drumsticks and thighs. Place them in a bowl.
Add the tamarind paste and a pinch of salt. Mix well.
Leave the chicken to marinate in the fridge for 20 mins.
While waiting, prepare the spice paste. In a grinder, place the candlenuts, lemongrass, ginger, Thai lime leaves, fresh turmeric, galangal, garlic and shallots.
Add 1 tbsp of water to help the blades turn smoothly. Pulse and grind the mixture.
Heat the cooking oil in a frying pan. Add the spice mixture and bay leaves. Fry for 8 mins over low heat.
Add the ground coriander and cumin. Add the coconut milk and continue frying for another 3 mins.
Season with salt and and continue frying for 1 min.
Turn off the heat and transfer the spice paste into a bowl. Let it cool. Once the mixture has cooled, add it to the chicken and mix well.
Cover the chicken with clingwrap and refrigerate. Let it marinate for at least 2 hrs.
Remove the chicken from the fridge 45 mins before cooking.
Pre-heat the oven to 200 C.
Place the chicken on a wire rack on a foil-lined tray. Place the tray on the lowest rack in the oven.
Lower the heat to 180 C. Bake the chicken, skin side down, for 20 mins. Turn the chicken over and continue cooking at 160 C for 30 mins.
Turn the heat up to 180 C and cook for another 10 mins.
Use a thin metal skewer to pierce the meat. It is cooked once the juices run clear.
Text: Straits Times
Photo: Hedy Khoo