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Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Kay Pachok (Skewered Chicken)


My mother told me that when she was a little girl, Kay Pachok was one of her favorite dishes. There was never enough of Kay Pachok to go around and she used to fantasize about growing up and earning money to be able to afford a whole badang (tray) of Kay Pachok all to herself. Ah, the things we dream of!

"Kay" is chicken in Hokkien and "Pachok" is our Terengganu dialect for the Malay word "pacak" which means spike. It refers to the long skewers/spikes (lidi) made from the midrib of the  coconut palm frond or bamboo.



Kay Pachok is made from chicken pieces skewered onto coconut (or are they bamboo?) skewers which are about 12 inches longs. A sort of giant version of the satay. The chicken pieces are steamed and then coated with a thick fragrant spice mix and cooked further on a charcoal grill. It is then wrapped in banana leaves for that extra fragrance.

I attempted this dish for the second time and it was quite successful. The first time was a disaster because I mistook fennel powder for corriander powder. My spice rack needs to be more organised to avoid such mistakes from occurring again. I could not find 12 inch skewers and opted for satay sticks instead.

Kay Pachok can be made with chicken pieces with bone on or without. I personally prefer with bone on as I feel it tastes better. A word of caution. When skewering the chicken, take care not to poke your fingers. Or conversely, if you have difficulty poking the chicken like I did, stop and examine your satay stick. I realized that I was trying to poke it with the blunt end of the satay stick. ***Blur***

The recipe below is adapted from my Aunt's recipe scrap book.










Kay Pachok (Skewered Chicken)

- 4  chicken legs, each cut into 5 pieces.

For spice mix :

- 4 dried chillies, soaked to soften (deseed if you don't want too hot)
- 5 fresh chillies (deseed if you don't want too hot)
- 400g shallots
- 15g lengkuas
- 30g gula Melaka (palm sugar)
- 35g belacan (prawn paste)
- 50g kerisik (recipe here or can use ready made kerisik)
- 1 tablespoon corriander powder
- 1 teaspoon fennel powder
- 1 packet coconut milk (200 ml)

7 satay sticks


Method :
For spice mix :
- blend chillies, shallots, lengkuas, gula Melaka, belacan and kerisik.
- Put blended ingredients into a saucepot and add corriander and fennel powder. Mix.
- Add santan and stir to mix.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Set aside.

For the chicken :
- Skewer 3 pieces of chicken per satay stick.
- Steam the chicken pieces over rapidly boiling water for about 5 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 180C and line a baking tray with foil (to make cleaning easier).
- Place skewered chicken onto tray and coat with a layer of spice mix.
- Grill for about 40 minutes, basting with the spice mix every 10 minutes until chicken pieces are well coated and the spice mix is browned.












I am submitting this post to Malaysian Food Fest, Terengganu Month hosted by Lena of frozen wings.


79 comments:

  1. Aiyor, I want one badang for me self too.... no share share.

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    1. Can, can, you can shake hands with my Mum :)

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  2. Aiyo....I want satu batang if you have extra to spare for me. Pasti sedap. Terengganu so many delicious food.

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    1. Mel, you can have as many batang as you like hee..hee...

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  3. Replies
    1. Hah! Hah! Ola, that's really cute :)

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  4. Oh my...this is absolutely delicious looking. I go weak knees for chicken, so do your skewered chicken here! :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Love! Your chicken masala does the same thing to me!

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  5. phong hong, this is super delicious! U know what, that day I went to eat lor mee after reading ur lor mee post, unfortunately they sold out ... So angry!
    Must try this recipe one day! :)

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    Replies
    1. Li Shuan, cook your own lor mee. Can put more ingredients, better than shop one hee..hee...

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  6. Hi Phong Hong, wah..... so tempting and super yummmy ...... you got keep 2 pieces for me?
    Thanks for the wonderful recipe.

    Have a nice week ahead,regards.

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    1. Amelia, sure. Next time reserve 2 sticks for you :)

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  7. Drooling over your kay pachok, very laku if you sell it to us:D One big dalang each!

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    1. Hah! Hah! Jeannie, for you people I just give away lah....

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  8. Wow wow wow... Giant chicken satay! Sedap!

    How do I prevent the satay stick from burning? I tried something similar before with the satay sticks in the over but they all got burnt.

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    Replies
    1. Chef, soak your satay sticks first for about 5 minutes. In the case of this kay pachok, no need to soak because the satay sticks become moist during the steaming process.

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  9. Scrumptious chicken! Looks delicious

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    Replies
    1. Swasthi, thanks for the compliments!

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  10. So yum.. yum.. Love to learn new recipes from you :)

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  11. Great recipe! I have to try them out one day, thanks for sharing. Mmmm…

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    1. cquek, I hope you do try because it's delicious!

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  12. *salivating* Drool! Drool! Another great looking dish! Bet it tasted great - reminds me of ayam percik but that one's not on skewers.

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    1. Arthur, this one is also delish like ayam percik. You don't need to do it in skewers. Apparently can also pan fry it. But I used skewers so that it is more authentic and keeping to tradition.

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  13. That's seriously mouth watering, PH! Now who's being wicked? ;)
    I wouldn't call using fennel in place of coriander powder a disaster. I'll bet it gave the recipe an interesting change ... new flavors, non traditional, but hey, what's traditional these days.

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    1. Ping, I'm wicked if I poke you with the satay sticks har...har...har! Using fennel powder entirely gave this dish a very strong funny smell. Really. I ate it, quiet a torture. But with the coriander power, ahhhh....beautiful!

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  14. good morning, this is seriously worth poking-your-finger dish! LOL! great idea too to serve this at gatherings, followed by a mug of beer! or make them at a BBQ!

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    1. Hi Lena, you are right! It's makes for a great party food. Your guests will love it :)

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  15. Strange,i didnt receive these two posts in my email ler....good thing i checked :) almost missed out on two yummy recipes! Love this and the curry chicken one...would love to make this one, lena is right, it is great party food.

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    1. Hi Esther, you will notice that the ingredients for this and the curry is similar, same recipe actually but you get two different dishes. Cool, eh? So, its quite convenient to prepare the spice paste for both dishes at the same time (except that kerisik is only added to the curry at the last part) and you can refrigerate or freeze the spice paste for later use.

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  16. Mmmmm...these look some perfectly cooked and spicy delicious!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lizzy! Upon tasting it can send one to heavenly bliss.......

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  17. oh... my badang can be very big one... nice nice, would be perfect with the charred edges... similar to ayam golek?

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    Replies
    1. I know, your badang XXL size :) This is something like ayam golek lah but taste different.

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  18. Wow wow wat a flavorful skewer... Looks delicious

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  19. My, my, I'll love to have a few sticks of these fragrant chicken right now, drooling!

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    Replies
    1. Cheah, you can try making these. You don't need to skewer, just grill in the oven. I did the skewer just to keep to the original :)

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  20. Hi Phong Hong, I like preparing food either steamed or baked. This Kay Pachok is a tempting one to try. Thanks for sharing. BTW, you are not only a Ratu Kerabu but a good cook...lah. Thumbs up.

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    1. Kimmy, thank you, thank you! You are very generous with your compliments. So shy, paiseh, paiseh...You should try this kay pachok, do a simplified version without having to skewer it. Just put on a grill pan and grill it in the oven. Can get same result.

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    2. TQ. I have an electric grill that I hardly use and can put to use now. BTW, can I used deboned chicken cubes [cos' I prefer to bite and chew the meat without bones]. Hope this wouldn't deviate too much from the original recipe.

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    3. Kimmy, yes you can. Actually kay pachok is available two types - one with bone and the other without bone. My Mum and I prefer with bone because we feel it tastes better.

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  21. frst time here..lovely n yummy chicken!..happy to follow u....
    glad if u do the same!

    http://subhieskitchen.blogspot.co.uk/

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    Replies
    1. Hello, Subhie! Thanks for stopping by. Sure, I will visit you soon :)

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  22. Hi Phong Hong,
    Wow, another mouthwatering meal! I agree with Lena, this is worth poking your finger for! Hahaha! I can help you to finish the whole badang, no problem! But cannot wear jeans when eating this, must wear pants with "getah" waistband!!!! hehe!
    Looks so delicious! Drooling...lor!!

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    1. Joyce, you had me laughing at the "getah" waistband! That's what we do too, even better at home we wear sarong, so can do adjustment while eating. When you are in the mood for poking stuff, try this recipe :)

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  23. Phong Hong, after reading few of your postings, I started to believe that the Malay does show some similarity with chinese, the "kay" sounds similar to "gai" in cantonese, right, hahaha! Apalah, siao liao! Anyway, again, you've done it again! Love this skewed chicken. I really envy people who can take chilli like other normal people. Why am I so abnormal? Sorethroat has been bothering me for over a week now, stop taking chinese medicine, now taking antibiotic. Last time when I had the same problem, I had antibiotic but no good, that's why this round tried chinese medicine, who knows, ai!

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    1. Jessie, so kesian. I hope your throat will recover soon. Ya lah, no chilli no kick, hor? You can still make this dish and put less chilli or leave it out. It will still taste good but with less kick :)

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  24. Another delish kay recipe, yummy! Combo of satay and ayam percik? Hope to try it some day.

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    1. Do try this, you won't regret it. A bit of work but in the end worth it :)

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  25. I can see why it was one of her favorites--looks fabulous!

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    1. Hi there Squishy Monster, I mean Angie! Thanks for stopping by. I had a peek at your blog and it's awesome. Will visit you again to explore further. I love Korean food!

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  26. oh my! giant satay! I can eat the whole balang too.. hehe. thanks for sharing. I haven't made anything for terengganu month yet and this looks so good! have to come up with something this weekend

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    1. Hah! Hah! Shannon, now you, Wendy and my Mum will have to shake hands :) Oh, you are doing something for MFF TGG too? That's wonderful, looking forwards to your post :)

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  27. Should be very sedap.

    What is next? How about pulut lepa ..wink wink

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    1. Heh..heh...I don't know how to make pulut lepa :( But don't worry, got some other stuff coming up :)

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  28. Think u have to highlight wat is a badang and how big it can get... Hahaha... Its not balang and definitely takes more than a batang to fill up a badang...

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    1. Oh ya, some people may not be familiar with badang. I did mention "tray" but now quite accurate but gives a general idea. Reminds me of a funny story. My aunt once put a badang of ikan bilis on top of her 4 wheel drive to dry in the sun. Then she forgot about it and drove out to pick up the kids. When she drove back, she saw a badang at the junction, a small distance from her house and it looked very familiar. Hah! Hah!

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  29. Hi Poh Hong,
    This Kay Pachok looks great like the Kay Hong that I have tried.
    But does this taste like satay with the 'kuah' on?
    I love all your Terengganu recipes. I would like them one by one.
    Thanks again for sharing:)
    mui..^^

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    1. Hi Mui Mui! The kay pachok taste is very different from satay. It's unique and I don't know how to describe it :)

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    2. Hi Phong Hong,
      Thanks. Since it is so unique, I think I have to cook it myself and find out how's the taste:)
      Have a nice weekend :)
      mui..^^

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  30. Phong Hong, I'm totally awed, and inspired by your amazing, colorful, flavorful delicious chicken skewers. Love the recipe, and the fabulous photos. Thanks for sharing:)

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    1. Thank you Elisabeth for your generous compliments! Made the effort so worth it :)

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  31. Aiyoo, this sound so yummy , next time BBQ party I can prepare this.

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    1. Sonia, this is good for BBQ party. Can prepared in advance and your guests can heat up on the grill.

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  32. Oh Phong Hong, these looks delicious! Almost missed out this post! It's too bad I missed the MFF submission, but am still interested to try this. Can u tell me what is lengkuas? Thanks!

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    1. Honey Bee Sweets, lengkuas is also called galangal or blue ginger (it's not blue though!). It is also one of the ingredients in asam fish recipe. I am sure you can find this in the market or supermarket.

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  33. Dear Phong Hong, I grew up in KT and it was definitely my favourite dish. Trouble is, it has been more than 30 years though I still talk about this dish to everyone who cares. I now live in KL. Is there any way I can buy ayam pachok in KL?

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    1. Hello there! I'm afraid I have no idea if anyone is selling kay pachok in KL. Guess, you will have to cook it yourself or buy it when you go back to KT :)

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    2. Thanks. Can you please advise on where to buy it from in KT? Any contact will be very much appreciated. I really miss this dish and I can imagine eating it with a plate of steamy rice. Wow!!!

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    3. Let me find out and I'll let you know :)

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    4. Thank you very much. I look forward to hearing from you.

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    5. My sources tell me that the only lady left making kay pachok is getting on in years. The other lady who used to make it is now in her eighties. If you go to Kg Cina, look for a lady, Ah Looi who sells chap fan. You can ask her if she can arrange for a special order for you. I hear that the lady who makes kay pachok will take bulk orders. Ah Looi is well known in town and you will have no problem tracking her. So you see, this delicacy is almost extinct now :(

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    6. A very big thank you. I am sadden by the fact that this excellent dish is going "extinct". I will surely find ways to locate Ah Looi in kg.Cina though I can see this happening only sometime next year. Hope it'll not be too late.
      Will definitely keep you posted.

      Thank you again.
      I wish you a Merry Christmas & a Blessed New Year!

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    7. You are welcome and good luck! If all else fails, you have the recipe :) Here's wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year too!

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