I made this Indonesian whole chicken recipe for the holidays from Madhur Jaffery's Step By Step Cooking. I haven't tried cooking from cookbooks much, but I couldn't have asked for a better result. The instructions were clear and easy to follow.
I made a few changes to the original recipe. I used green bell pepper instead of red. I think red would have given it a slightly sweet taste. I also added a bunch of cilantro which gave it a fresh taste with the lemony flavor. The chicken was lightly browned before putting it in the oven and I cooked it for 2 1/2 hours.
When it came out of the oven, the chicken was tender and juicy and tasted delicious. But I forgot to take a picture after taking it out of the oven and it was gone by the time I remembered it. We had a piece left which we enjoyed with paratha the next day. I have taken a picture, but it doesn't do justice. I will update the picture the next time I make it.
This is a Balinese recipe which is originally cooked in a banana leaf, but I cooked in a foil and it came out great. There is a a considerable amount of prep time and cooking time involved in this recipe, but it will be a great addition to your holiday menu! Here is the recipe as I cooked it.
3 1/2 - 4 lbs chicken
4 1/4 tbspoon lime juice
1 tbspoon + 1 tspoon brown sugar
1/2 tspoon turmeric powder
1/2 tspoon red chilli powder
4 - red chillis
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 fresh lemon grass stick (I didn't have this so I used 1 tbspoon of lemon zest)
1 - green bell pepper
1 1/2 inch cube - ginnger
5-6 garlic cloves
1/3 cup cashew nuts
1 1/2 tspoon black pepper
5 tbspoon oil
Salt to taste
Combine 3 tbspoon of lime juice, 1 tbspoon sugar, salt, turmeric and chilli powder in a bowl. Make large diagonal slits on the chicken and rub the marinade well into the chicken. Set it aside to marinade. The book calls for marinating it for 1 hour. I let it marinade for 3 1/2 hours.
Crumble the whole chillis in a bowl with a little bit water and set it aside for 30 min. Chop the shallots, green peppers, garlic and ginger. Coarsely chop the cashew nuts. Put the cilantro, peppers, shallots, ginger, garlic, nuts and the remaining lime juice into the blender and grind till it becomes a fine paste. Add salt, remaining sugar, lime zest, pepper and the soaked red chillies and mix it well.
Heat oil and add the paste and fry for about 15-20 min till the oil separates from the spice and the paste darkens in color. Set it aside. In the same pan, lightly brown the chicken.
Heat the oven to 350F. Spread the foil, overlapping them so that you can wrap the chicken well in the foil.
Put the chicken breast down. Rub the fried spice mix in the chicken all over. Turn the chicken and rub the mix. Put the remaining mixture into the chicken. Wrap the foil well, put in on a tray and put in in the oven and cook it for 2- 2 1/2 hours depending on your oven.
Take the parcel out and pour the oil into a bowl. Take the spice mix from the chicken and mix it will the oil and use it as a dressing for the chicken pieces. Serve with fried rice, pulao, naan or parathas.
With wonderful flavors of lemongrass and cilantro, this is my entry for Holiday Cooking with Herbs at Kalyn's Kitchen.
Happy cooking for the Holidays!