Chicken Rendang - which essentially is a spicy Indonesian curry, that is mainly characterised by its use of dessicated coconut and coconut milk. It is slow cooked for about 2- 3 hours, and can be cooked with chicken, or beef. Its a hugely popular dish in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia - though you can find it almost anywhere in Australia too!
I’ve adopted this recipe from the wonderful food blog ‘Rice & Wheat’.
It does take a while to cook, but fairly simple and once its simmering - you just have to sit back and relax and let the aroma permeate through your house!
— A medium whole chicken (get your butcher to cut up the chicken for a curry)
— 1 cup dried coconut, shredded, grated, or flaked
— 2-inch piece of galangal or ginger, peeled and cut into chunks
— 5 Thai chilies (less if you’re sensitive to spiciness)
— 3 cloves garlic, peeled
— 2 stalks of fresh lemongrass
— 1 large spanish onion
— 3 Tbsp cooking oil
— 2 cinnamon sticks, each about 4 inches long
— 2 star anise
— 1 can of coconut milk
— 1½ tsp turmeric
— 1 tsp tamarind concentrate (e.g. Tamicon)
— 3 kaffir lime leaves, slivered
— fish sauce
In a large non-stick pan (cast iron casserole dish works the best), toast the coconut for about 10 min until browned. If the coconut is not finely shredded, transfer to a food processor and pulse until you have small pieces. Set aside.
Remove the darker top parts of the lemongrass and discard. Slice the rest of the white/light green stalk into small pieces. Combine galangal/ginger, chilies, garlic, lemongrass, and shallots in food processor. Pulse until you have a thick, chunky paste, adding small amounts of water as necessary.
Heat oil in the same pan over medium high heat. Add cinnamon sticks and star anise, and stir for a couple of minutes until fragrant. Add all the curry paste and saute for another 2 min. Add in the coconut cream and saute for another 2 min. Add in the rest of the coconut milk, the lime leaves, most of the toasted coconut (save a bit for garnish), turmeric, and tamarind concentrate. Bring the mixture to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning with sugar and fish sauce as needed. Simmer the sauce for 20 min, uncovered.
Add the chicken pieces to the pan and stir to coat. Simmer uncovered for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally about every 20-30 min. You want most of the liquid to evaporate so that you’re left with the bubbling coconut oil and the chicken is basically frying in the oil. Taste again and see if you want to add a little more salt. Turn down the heat and let the chicken brown in the oil for another 15-20 min, stirring every 5 min or so.
Garnish with the reserved toasted coconut. Serve with rice.