Ayam percik (chicken with coconut and pineapple)

Chef Wan makes a Malaysian curry where the chicken is first simmered in an aromatic gravy, then finished on a griddle pan for a smoky edge
By Chef Wan
Ayam percik (chicken with coconut and pineapple)
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

For the spice paste

  • 3 red chillies, seeds removed if you like
  • 4 shallots, peeled
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2.5 cm ginger
  • 2.5 cm fresh turmeric root
  • 10 candlenuts, (buah keras)
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 2 lime leaves

For the chicken curry

  • 1 litres coconut milk
  • 1 x 1 kg chicken, cleaned and halved lengthways
  • 1/2 pineapple, diced
  • 10 stalks lemongrass, bruised
  • 6 cm galangal, peeled, thickly sliced and bruised
  • 1 pinches salt
  • 1 pinches sugar
  • 1 lime, juice only

Method

1. For the spice paste: combine all of the spice ingredients in a food processor with enough water to get a smooth paste.

2. For the chicken curry: heat a large wok and fry the spice paste until aromatic. Add the coconut milk and bring to the boil. Simmer until the oil separates and forms a layer on top.

3. Add the chicken, pineapple, lemon grass and galangal. Stir until chicken is well coated and season with a little salt and sugar. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring and turning regularly. Add a little water if too dry to prevent sticking, but the liquid level in the pot should always be as low as possible.

4. Preheat a grill, griddle pan or charcoal grill. Remove the chicken and grill for 10 minutes, basting frequently with gravy from the pot.

5. Put the grilled chicken on a serving plate to rest.

6. Remove the pieces of galangal and the lemongrass from the curry sauce. Return wok to the stove and reduce the gravy over a medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until it gets to a thick enough consistency to cling to the chicken when spooned over. Squeeze in the lime juice.

7. When gravy is ready, remove from heat and spoon over the chicken. Serve with steamed rice.

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