The thing with having five women in a family is –
no matter how delicious the meal, the night can still end very badly! My Muslim Chicken Wraps was one such night. The meal was indeed delicious, and the night was indeed bad! One sister had just been chosen for a Law internship with the United Nations to assist in prosecuting the accused involved in the Khmer Rouge. Such an achievement! For a bunch of girls who grew up in the country, its times like these we sit back and say, “well done us!” We’re a one in, all in bunch! My Papa says, “we win together. We lose together”, and this was a win for all of us. Despite our drama, we work together like a well oiled machine and the word ‘no’ means ‘negotiate’ – a practice our mother taught us well. This night quickly developed into a trip down honesty lane and there were things we just needed to ‘get off our chest!’. We felt compelled to let the ‘end of the week’ mood get in the way of my fine dining. However, as always, we solved the problems of the world and more importantly ours, and the night ended late on the couch together, watching McLeod’s Daughters reruns … Therapy that I’d highly recommend!
‘So long as you have food in your mouth, you have solved all questions for the time being.’ Franz Kafka
1 whole organic chicken
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 red shallots, chopped
1 tbsp. chopped ginger
1 tbsp. chopped coriander root
Large pinch salt
Large pinch ground white pepper
1/3 cup coconut cream
1 cup coconut cream
1 tbsp. red curry paste (home made if possible)
1 cup roasted, unsalted, ground peanuts
1 tbsp. palm sugar
1 tbsp. tamarind paste
1 tbsp. fish sauce
1 tbsp. Kecap Manis
1 Lebanese cucumber
½ bunch coriander leaves
½ bunch mint leaves
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp. grape seed oil
Salt and pepper
You will also need:
2 x baby Cos Lettuce
1 x packet roti bread
Firstly, pat chicken completely dry with paper towel. To butterfly the chicken, turn it upside down, breast side facing down. Take a pair of poultry scissors and remove the giblets if still attached. Cut down spine of chicken - keep cutting until chicken is open fully and lays flat on cutting board.
For the chicken marinade, pound the garlic, shallots, ginger, coriander root, salt and pepper in a mortar and pestle. The mixture should form a paste. Stir the coconut cream into the paste. Rub the marinade into the chicken and leave overnight.
Preheat oven to 180˚C. Line a baking tray with baking paper and place the chicken on tray, flesh side up. Place the chicken in oven for 50 minutes, then turn the heat up to 200˚C and cook the chicken for a further 10 minutes. The chicken should be golden brown and skin crispy.
While the chicken is cooking make satay sauce. Heat half the coconut cream and curry paste in medium saucepan until fragrant. Add the remaining coconut cream, ground peanuts, palm sugar, fish sauce, tamarind paste, Kecap Manis, and stir well. Bring the mixture to the boil and turn down to a medium heat. Let satay sauce gently simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
To make cucumber salsa, halve the cucumber and slice 1 cm pieces on an angle. Toss the cucumber in a bowl with coriander and mint leaves, juice of one lime, grape seed oil, and salt and pepper.
Tear the lettuce leaves from the bulb and wash and dry. Arrange them on a plate ready to serve. Serve roti bread onplate ready to heat in microwave just before serving. Take chicken from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. While it’s cooling, get all your sides plated on table. Cut a few pieces of chicken to get started, and help yourselves!