This is one of the recipes I learned from the At-Surince Culinary Academy school in Singapore. Chicken Rendang (according to the recipe sheet they gave us) is a rich coconut chicken stew. I personally do not like this particular recipe, but maybe it is because I just cannot cook it right. I actually prefer the way I cook rendang as it has a spicier and richer flavour than this recipe. Maybe it’s just me and this recipe that doesn’t gel together! Anyway, here it is:
4 tbsp cooking oil
3 kaffir lime leaves, torn
1 whole chicken (900g/2lb), cut into 8 pieces
1.5 cup coconut milk
palm sugar (to taste)
salt (to taste)
8 dry medium-sized red chillies, softened
10 small shallots, finely chopped (or an onion if you don’t have any shallots)
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
30g galangal, peeled and thinly sliced
2 stalks lemon grass, smashed
1 turmeric leaf (or some turmeric powder)
1. Grind the softened chillies, shallots, garlic, ginger and the tumeric leaf either in a pestle and mortar. Or if you want to be lazy, put it in a blender. (Pestle and mortar version makes it taste better for some reason though)
2. Heat the oil in a wok or a pot over moderate heat and fry the paste in step 1 for about 10 minutes until fragrant. Keep adding a little oil a bit at a time if the paste becomes too dry to avoid the paste burning.
3. Add the galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, turmeric leaf and the chicken pieces into the pot. Then stir in the coconut milk and add salt to taste.
4. Bring to a simmer, cover, and stir from time to time until the chicken is cooked. (About 20 minutes).
5. Add palm sugar to taste, increase the heat and cook a few more minutes until the sauce has thickened.
Serve hot with steamed rice or turmeric rice (yellow rice / nasi kunyit).