Winter has certainly landed. I’ve been feeling a little under the weather over the past few days, as has the husband. Working outside in the elements all day, it comes as no surprise. Consequently, we were on the hunt for something to warm the cockles and spicy enough to blast away the winter blues. I think we struck gold.
Dan came up with a new Burmese dish that he found in Jennifer Brennan’s ‘One-Dish Meals of Asia’. I have to say, the one dish part doesn’t also mean one pot (as we first thought), judging by the mountain of washing up I had to do afterwards (literally every pot and pan), however, it was so worth it. ‘Burmese Chicken in Coconut Cream and Lemon Grass’ is traditionally served with noodles in Burma, along with various accompaniments, but I opted for rice…just because I like rice on a Friday. I think it worked well, all the same.
To make our version of this dish (serves two) you will need:
– 1kg of chicken thighs (skin on/bone in)
– One teaspoon of cayenne pepper
– One teaspoon of ground tumeric
– One teaspoon of salt
– Water to cover the chicken
– One large onion (peeled/chopped)
– Five garlic cloves (peeled/chopped)
– One inch piece of garlic (peeled/crushed)
– Five tablespoons of sunflower oil
– Two dried red chillies (chopped)
– One teaspoon of paprika
– Two tablespoons of chick-pea flour (besan)
– One cup of coconut milk
– Two lemon grass stalks (grated)
– Fish sauce to taste
– Two hard boiled eggs (peeled/quartered)
– Four spring onions (trimmed/chopped)
– Juice of one lime
– Two tablespoons of coriander (chopped)
– Coat the chicken thighs well in the tuneric, salt and cayenne pepper. Place in a large stove top pot and cover with water.
– Bring to the boil and then leave to simmer for twenty minutes or until the meat is tender.
– Strain the stock and reserve to one side, then remove the meat from the bone. Set aside.
– Place the onion, garlic and ginger in a food processor and blitz until puréed. Remove from the blender with a spatula and set aside.
– Heat three tablespoons of oil in a frying pan over a low heat and add the chillies and paprika. Fry for approximately three minutes (or until the oil begins to take on a red colour). Strain the oil through a sieve lined with kitchen roll and reserve.
– Heat the remaining oil in a wok to a medium heat and add the onion puree. Stir for a few minutes or until all of the moisture has gone and it begins to darken. Add in the boneless meat and stir fry until well combined with the puree.
– Mix the chick-pea flour with some of the reserved stock to make a paste, and tip into the wok. Pour in one cup of the stock and mix thoroughly. Bring to the boil and add the coconut milk and lemon grass. Continue to cook until the sauce begins to thicken (around five minutes).
– Season to taste with the fish sauce and stir in the reserved chilli oil and the lime juice. Reduce the heat to a very low simmer and add in the spring onions for a couple of minutes cooking time.
– Serve with the quartered eggs on top and garnish with the coriander.
This dish really packs a punch and is enough to challenge any winter blues. It’s hot, fragrant and zesty from the lemon grass, with tender pieces of chicken nestling in the coconut milk that make it very comforting at the same time. I also love the crunch that comes from the spring onions thrown in at the end. As I said previously, we served ours with basmati rice, but the husband is up for trying it with noodles next time. I have no doubt that it would be an excellent match. Curry and eggs together on a plate. It’s a beautiful thing.