Monday, 9 March 2009

Pandan Chicken


Pandan leaves are not just excellent for S E Asian sweet cakes and puddings, it is also great for some savoury recipes like this popular pandan chicken. It is quite easy, the method of wrapping with the leaf is up to you as long as you can secure a piece of the leaf round the chicken to give it the unique flavour. Great as starter or serve with a meal.



For the marinate I have 3 recipes, one Chinese, one Malay and one Thai.

For the Chinese flavour:

450 – 500 g of chicken breast or 600 – 700g of chicken pieces with bones (I like thighs and legs), cut into chunks
2 tbsp of oyster sauce
2 tsp of light soy
2 tsp of sesame oil
2 tsp of grated ginger
1 fat clove garlic, grated
1 tbsp of brandy or shaoshing wine (I like the flavour of brandy better)
1 level tbsp of cornflour
1/2 tsp of five spice powder

Mix everything together and leave to marinate for about 1 hour to overnight


For the Malay flavour:

a. Spice paste
a small piece(about 6 -7 g) ginger, cut into small pieces
a small piece(about 6 -7 g) galangal, cut into small piece
1 fat clove of garlic
40g of shallots (about 2 small shallots), peeled and cut into small pieces
1 stick of lemongrass (use only the lower 3 inches, remove the outer fibrous layers and cut off the hard part at the root end, then slice into very paper thin rings)
Some water if necessary for blending

b. Other ingredients:
1 tbsp of Malaysian kari ayam curry powder or any other curry powder mix of your choice
1 tbsp of kecap manis
1 tsp salt

Put spice paste ingredients in a small blender and blitz till very smooth, if the blender is a bit struggling add some water and continue blending till you get a smooth paste.

Mix everything together and leave to marinate for about 1 hour to overnight


For the Thai flavour:

2 - 3 tbsp of green or red Thai curry paste, preferably homemade if not use shop bought paste but reduce qty a little as it is more concentrate and much spicer (chilli hot)
1 clove garlic, grated
1 walnut size shallot, finely minced or grated
1 ½ tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp of palm sugar
1 tsp of grated kaffir lime zest or if not use lime zest
450 – 500 g of chicken breast or 600 – 700g of chicken pieces with bones (I like thighs and legs), cut into chunks

Mix everything together and leave to marinate for about 1 hour to overnight



Other ingredients:
Pandan leaves
cooking oil


Once the chicken has been marinated then prepare the wrapping. You will need quite a few pandan leaves, do use fresh not frozen.


This picture showed two different flavours, one Chinese and one Malay qty as recipes above using a mixture chicken thighs and drum sticks about 10 pieces per recipe.

To wrap like this go to the bottom of this link for the technique and secure each with a cocktail stick. You need one full length of the leaf to wrap one piece of chicken like that.

If you can’t do it, just wrap it round like a band and secure with cocktail stick like those two pieces showing in the front of above picture.

Once you have wrapped the chicken then deep fried, shallow fried or baked. I normally use 1 cup of oil and fried in a wok few pieces at a time till all done. To bake, brush the wrapped pieces with oil then baked at 190 – 200C for around 30 -35 minutes depending on size of chicken pieces. Chicken breast takes a lot less time, chicken with bones will be longer.

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