I always associate chicken rendang with Hari Raya. It is usually served with rice, lemang or ketupat. It is also good eaten with bread. I once made a sandwich using leftover rendang.
Two essential ingredients to cook rendang are kerisik and tumeric leaves. Without kerisk and tumeric leaves, the distinct taste and aroma of rendang would be missing.
Rendang is cooked by simmering on low heat to bring out the aroma of the spice paste. It is perfect for tough cuts of meat like beef. When cooking chicken rendang, old chicken is normally used as it can withstand the long cooking time. If you look at rendang recipes, the standard operating procedure is to put all the ingredients into a pot and bring it to a boil and simmer on low flame until the meat is cooked. If regular chicken is used, you will end up with a pot of mush.
My Aunt taught me a different method that is suitable when using regular chicken. The spice paste is sauteed first, then cooled and used to marinate the raw chicken pieces. It is preferable to marinate overnight before cooking the following day.
I adapted this recipe from Chef Hanieliza's book "Senangnya Memasak Ayam".
Chicken Rendang :
1. 3 chicken legs (I cut these into 6 pieces)
2. 1 packet santan
3. 1/2 cup kerisik
4. 1 tumeric leaf finely sliced
5. Salt to taste
Spice Paste :
1. 15 shallots
2. 4 cloves garlic
3. 3 stalks lemongrass
4. Ginger (2 inches)
5. Galangal (lengkuas, 1 inch)
6. Tumeric (1 inch)
7. 4 dried chillies (soaked to soften)
1. Blend spice paste ingredients.
2. Saute until fragrant and oil rises to the top.
3. Cool the spice paste and use to marinate the chicken pieces. Marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
4. Heat oil and fry the marinated chicken for about 10 minutes. Add santan, tumeric leaves and kerisik.
5. Bring to a boil and lower the flame. Simmer on low heat until chicken is cooked and gravy is thick. Add salt to taste.
|Spice paste ingredients.|
|Use the cooked spice paste as marinade to marinate the chicken. Marinate for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight before cooking.|
|Chicken Rendang cooked and ready to serve.|