• Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A TRUE TASTE OF ASIA

Must-try Iftar treats

By Tommy Miah

Honey chilli soy chicken kebabs
Ingredients:
4 tbsp vegetable oil
5 tbsp honey
4 tbsp chilli sauce
5 tbsp soy sauce
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
8 skinless, boneless chicken breast fillets -- cut into cubes
2 cloves garlic
5 onions, cut into pieces
2 red peppers, cut into pieces
Skewers
Method:
In a large bowl, whisk together oil, honey, soy sauce, chilli sauce and pepper. Before adding chicken, reserve a small amount of marinade to brush onto kebabs while cooking. Place the chicken, garlic, onions and peppers in the bowl, and marinate in the refrigerator at least 2 hours (the longer the better).
Preheat barbecue for high heat.
Drain marinade from the chicken and vegetables, and discard marinade. Thread chicken and vegetables alternately onto the skewers.
Lightly oil the cooking grate. Cook kebabs for 12 to 15 minutes, until chicken juices run clear. Turn and brush with reserved marinade frequently.
Smoked spicy chicken
Ingredients:
1 chicken (1.5 kg)
½ tsp salt
1 tsp sesame oil
Spicy sauce --
1 star aniseed
½ tsp brown peppercorn
½ tsp clove
1 piece cinnamon stick
1 cardamom
¼ dried tangerine peel
5 cups water
2 tbsp sugar
Smoking ingredients for chicken –
½ cup Jasmine tea leaf
½ cup soft brown sugar
½ cup cooked rice
Method:
Wash chicken and remove its legs. Rub chicken cavity and skin with salt. Hang it for 40 minutes.
Bring spicy sauce to the boil until 4 cups of water is left. Strain. Add light soy sauce and sugar. Bring to the boil again. Put chicken in spicy sauce. Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.
Cover wok with aluminium foil. Put in tea leaf, soft brown sugar and rice. Heat wok. Place an iron rack on wok. Put chicken on rack. Cover with lid. Remove from heat when smoke emits from wok. Bake for 5 minutes. Take out chicken. Brush sesame oil on it and allow to cool. Chop up and serve.
Lanka red chicken
Ingredients:
8 chicken thighs
½ tsp black pepper ground
Salt to taste
3-4 tbsp oil
2 medium-sized onions
20 curry leaves
8 cloves garlic
5 cm (2″) piece ginger
3 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp paprika powder
2 tsp granulated sugar
Method:
Remove the skins from the thighs, and cut off any excess fat. Put the thighs, the pepper and salt into a pan, together with half a litre of cold water, and bring to the boil. Simmer for 1 hour.
Remove the pieces of chicken onto a plate. Bring the stock rapidly to a boil, and continue boiling until it has reduced to about 150ml (¼ of a pint) and set aside.
Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic. Grate the ginger. In a medium-sized pan, heat the oil. Add the onions and the curry leaves, and fry until the onions are golden brown. Add the chicken pieces and continue to fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the chilli, paprika, the sugar and the stock and bring slowly to a boil. Simmer for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the chicken from sticking to the pan.
 

Thai chicken and coconut soup
Ingredients:
2 stalks fresh lemongrass
6 coin-size slices fresh ginger, unpeeled
2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
2 fresh chilli peppers, such as serrano or jalapeno
2 14-ounce cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
8 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
½ litre coconut milk
3 tbsp cornstarch
2-3 tbsp lime juice, plus 4 thin lime slices for garnish
1-2 tsp fish sauce, or reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 scallions, trimmed and sliced
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
Method:
Trim lemongrass stalks of root ends, outer leaves and grassy tops. Cut into 2-inch lengths. Smash each piece with the flat of a chef's knife. Crush ginger and garlic (do not peel) with the knife. Trim stems from chillies, cut in half lengthwise and smash (for maximum heat, do not remove the seeds).
Place the crushed lemongrass, garlic, ginger and chillies in a wide pan and pour in broth. Bring to a simmer, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface.
Add chicken breasts to the broth. Cover and simmer gently over low heat just until the chicken is cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. With tongs, transfer the chicken to a cutting board and set aside.
Bring the broth to a lively boil and boil for about 5 minutes to intensify the flavours. Strain the broth into a saucepan, pressing on the solids to extract all the juices. Stir in coconut milk and heat through over medium heat.
Stir together cornstarch, 2 tablespoons lime juice and 1 teaspoon fish sauce (or soy sauce) in a small bowl. Add to the soup and cook, stirring, until simmering and slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.
Thinly slice the poached chicken and add to the soup. Season with additional lime juice and fish sauce (or soy sauce) to taste. Ladle the soup into bowls and float a lime slice, some scallions and cilantro leaves in each one.
 

Chicken breasts stuffed with cheese, tomato, and basil
Ingredients:
4 bone-in chicken breast halves (14 ounces each)
½ cup packed fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomato halves, about 8
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tsp finely grated orange zest
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into four pieces
2 tsp olive oil
Method:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminium foil; set aside. With a paring knife, cut a 1-inch-long slit in thick side of each breast.
Insert knife, and without enlarging opening, carefully work around inside to form a pocket (make sure you do not go through the other side).
On a cutting board, pile basil, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, zest, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper; finely chopped. Divide mixture evenly, and spoon into breast pockets, spreading it around. Insert one piece of cheese in each breast pocket.
Close pockets, using 2 to 3 toothpicks per breast; arrange, skin side up, on baking sheet. Rub with olive oil, and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast until well browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of breast (avoiding bone) reads 165 degrees, 30 to 35 minutes. Let chicken rest 5 minutes; remove toothpicks before serving.

Published: 12:00 am Tuesday, June 24, 2014

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