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Sunday, 3 June 2012

Grilled Spicy Chicken (Ayam Golek)


Ayam Golek is a very popular dish in Kelantan and Terengganu. This spicy fragrant chicken is very easily found in food stalls and restaurants in the East Coast states.  It is also very much available throughout Malaysia especially during the fasting month.  The word "Golek" means to roll or rotate.  I guess it refers to the way the chicken pieces are grilled rotisserie style. As far as I am concerned, the "Golek" is more likely to refer to someone rolling on the floor in ecstasy after tasting this grilled chicken.  This dish can be eaten with plain rice or better still Nasi Minyak.

It is not a difficult dish to prepare.  This is how I did it :

I cooked 5 chicken legs and the spice ingredients are as follows :

1. 15 shallots (I could not get shallots so I substituted with 5 big onions)
2. 5 dried chillies soaked to soften (you can put up to 10 dried chillies or more if you like more spicy)
3. 6 cloves of garlic
4. 7 candlenuts (buah keras)
5. 1 inch ginger, 1 inch tumeric and 1/2 inch galangal (lengkuas)
6. 1 teaspoon of ground cumin (jintan putih)
7. 2 teaspoons of ground fennel (jintan manis)

Onions, garlic, tumeric, ginger, galangal, dried chillies and candlenuts.
In the old days, these ingredients would have been pounded using a mortar and pestle.  As I understand it, pounded ingredients produce better aroma.  But well, to save time (OK, OK, I don't have the energy), just plonk all your ingredients into the blender and within a minute, you have your spice paste (rempah).

Plonk everything into the blender.

Spice paste, so fast and easy except for the washing up part.
Pour into a bowl and add ground cumin, fennel and stir (you could put these together in the blender which I forgot). When it comes to spice paste, always err on the generous side.  You want more rempah to coat your chicken and extras to baste.  Besides, it tastes great with your rice.  I often find my guests digging for the spicy gravy.

Add ground cumin and fennel into spice paste and stir to mix.
You also need :

1. 4 kafir lime leaves (daun limau purut)
2. 3 stalks of lemongrass (serai), bruised
3. 1 packet of coconut milk (santan).  Use neat, don't mix with water. Your chicken will bleed water during the cooking process and you don't want diluted gravy.

Lemongrass, kafir lime leaves and santan.



Heat your pan and add a generous amount of oil. When you saute (tumis) your spice paste, don't be stingy with the oil or be paranoid about your rempah becoming too oily. This is not the time to think about your health. You need the oil to properly saute your rempah to get good results.  Use medium heat and pour in your spice paste together with the lemongrass.

Saute for about 15 minutes or so until aromatic and oil rises to the top (pecah minyak).  Honestly, I have not experienced this phenomenon, even though I used enough oil and sauteed until aromatic.  But this has not affected the taste and the oil does rise when the dish is completely cooked.  Remember, the paste will taste bitter if not properly cooked through, so if you are not sure if you have sauteed enough, taste it.  If it is already aromatic and not bitter, you have arrived.

Saute spice paste with lemongrass until aromatic and oil rises to the top. Or until the spice paste is not bitter.
Next, put in your chicken and stir to ensure chicken is coated with the paste.  Then add kafir lime leaves, salt (I used fish sauce instead) and santan.  You could lower the flame and simmer the chicken in the pan but I transferred to a pot. Cover and simmer on low heat until chicken is cooked and the gravy is thick. Stir every now and then to ensure that the gravy doesn't get burned.

I transferred to a pot to simmer as I find this more convenient.
When the chicken is done, you can transfer to the oven immediately and grill at 200C for about 30 to 40 mins or until the the gravy becomes thicker and the chicken slightly brown. Baste the chicken with the gravy every 15 minutes.  I was cooking one day ahead, so I cooled the dish and kept it in the refrigerator. This dish actually tastes better the following day.

Chicken legs after cooking but before grilling.

The next day, I took it out of the fridge and let stand to room temperature before grilling in the oven.

Arrange on baking tray lined with aluminium foil (to make cleaning easy) and spoon gravy onto the chicken pieces.
After about 40 minutes this is what it looks like.  Gravy is thicker and chicken slightly browned around the edges.


Arrange chicken on platter and pour the extra  gravy onto the chicken before serving.  You and your guests will be fighting for the gravy to mix with the rice.
Serve this with either plain rice or Nasi Minyak and a simple acar made with cucumbers, onion and pineapple.  And if you are like me, don't forget the sambal belacan.

Ayam Golek served with Nasi Hujan Panas. Not only will you Golek, you will also Gelek after eating this.





30 comments:

  1. I know what Golek is but what's "Gelek"?
    Gosh, the gravy looks delicious! In fact, the whole dish looks scrumptious and colorful! And the fresh pineapple ... perfect with curry ... drool!
    (What do you mean you don't have the energy? This sounds like one step too many for me already)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Adoi...sorry forgot to provide translation. Gelek is to gyrate your hips when dancing. I would like to do a demo for you but I can't because (a) I don't know how to post a video and (b) its the case of the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. I'm not sure if this is standard Malay but we use that word in Terengganu. Go to Youtube and search from Mas Idayu or Daud Kilau. Now, these two are gelek personified.

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    2. Hehe, I can Gekek! I show you when I see you next Ping. Not bad or an old Aunty ha? Hehe

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    3. OK, Ping. No need to go to Youtube. I'm sure Aunty Lucy will do justice to the Gelek.

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  2. I have tried and tasted this colourful rice before. I didn't know that this is Nasi Minyak. Everything looks so delicious in this dish. Yum!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Zoe! This is another version of nasi minyak, the colouful version.

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  3. thanks for following my blog, I will be your frequent visitor also with pleasure:)


    Blog about life and travelling
    Blog about cooking

    ReplyDelete
  4. Whoa! Looks exquisite! I can't wait to try it and enjoy

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  5. What a delicious dish that was being served on the dining table! Yes, mark down this dish & will try in the future! I'm just wondering whether I can just bake them in the oven when they are still raw? Which way is easier? I will cut down the chilli as I can't take chilli very well. I'll get upset stomach if I eat something that is too spicy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jessie! If you bake in the oven when they are still raw, the spice paste will get burnt. Maybe you could steam the chicken first, then bake with the cooked spice paste. I've never tried this method but it might work. Let me know, yah ?

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  6. Phong Hong, this is my kind of food. I want a love button to click on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let me find the love button and I will install it for you!

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  7. wah! wangi tumis tu..rasa macam sepoi2 lalu kat hidung ;)) hehhehe

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    Replies
    1. Memang wangi Cik Wan oi! Asal jangan tergolek-golek, dah!

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  8. Hola! Hola! Amoiii tq so much sudi follow my dapur.. i already follow your dapur also.. huaaaahhhh suka masuk sini leyyy you sangat teror masak!! i suka... wahh itu ayam golekkk bikin i punya mata sudah golek-golek ini macam >>> @_________@ << yaa ini macam heehee.. dan lepas tu nampak nasi.. terus gelek2 hehehehhehe... tq muahzzzzzz << kiss sampai terlelap tau ni!

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  9. Kelakor! Kelakor! Gelak sampai tergolek-golek. Terima kasih banyok-banyok!

    ReplyDelete
  10. This dish looks finger-licking good!! Will be driving up to Kuantan for a short trip, hope to get a chance to try this dish!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Enjoy your trip and if you have the time or perhaps in the future, visit Terengganu and savour the beauty of my homestate.

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  11. Hi Phong Hong ,

    I'm Punitha of

    http://www.southindiafoodrecipes.blogspot.in

    Thank you for your comment on my space:)

    This chicken looks finger-licking good!!

    At your free time do visit my blog...

    Keep in touch Phong Hong :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome aboard, Punitha! I will be your frequent visitor. Very impressed with the number of recipes you have posted.

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  12. Hmm, yours look so yummy..I cooked this once before, so long did not attempt again..

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  13. Beautiful and colourful dish. Enjoyed your posting very much. Keep it up Phong Hong, well done.

    Stan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Stan, for the compliments and encouragment.

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  14. The chicken looks stunning. Slurpssss!!!! Pretty sure it is mighty delicious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, it is! You will love this for sure.

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  15. Dear, wow so yummy. Wanna try wt one whole chicken

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the recipe is actually for a whole chicken. But I find it easier to use chicken legs :)

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