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May 1, 2009 06:04 PM

*May 2009* COTM Cradle of Flavor: Poultry

**May 2009 Cookbook of the Month is Cradle of Flavor: Home Cooking from the Spice Islands of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore by James Oseland.

Please post your full-length reviews of recipes here for poultry dishes from Chapter 11, page 266 - 297. Please mention the name of the recipe you are reviewing and the page number, if possible, as well as any modifications you made to the recipe.

A reminder that the verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is a violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.

Thanks for participating!

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  1. I made the Javanese Chicken Curry (pg. 275, sorry, I forgot the page reference on my other posts).
    I really liked this curry. Though it was very subtle, I enjoyed it as itI allowed me to start getting accustomed toappreciate the flavours I was tasting in the food.
    I followed the recipe, except that I don't have holland chilies, so I used a smaller and hotter one. I also used frozen lemongrass, which I bought with the other supplies that I purchased for this book - I thought it would be better to buy frozen as a lot of recipes seem to call for it and I am not always close to a store that sells good quality fresh lemongrass.
    The curry was very mild and subtle. The hotter chile helped make it a little more interesting, but I actually enjoyed the mildness of it.
    If I make this dish again, which I will, I will use thighs and legs, as I think dark meat works better in this dish. The breast was a little tough and dryish.
    Overall, I really liked this dish. You must be prepared to stay close to your stove while it is cooking, as it is very important to keep it at a simmer and not let it boil. I served this dish with steamed jasmine rice, which I made according the Oseland's recipe. The rice was delicious and perfectly cooked.

    7 Replies
    1. re: tartetatin

      Thanks for the report. I'm making this tomorrow and am slightly disappointed to hear that it is subtle. I'll be using serranos (can't find any hot red peppers here), maybe will use a bit more than he calls for. And especially thanks for the warning on staying in the kitchen. I'm thinking of serving this with a baguette, since I'll be making the nasi goreng (fried rice) as a main later this week and don't want to OD on rice. I'll sleep on it ...

      1. re: LulusMom

        Lulusmom - you could always add a little more heat, perhaps some dried chilies. I found the sauce to be a little thin - after finishing the meal, I took the leftover chicken out of the dutch oven and simmered the sauce for about an hour to thicken it up a bit. I was very pleased with the result. I think the leftovers will be very good. I don't know if this helps, but depending how thick your coconut milk is, you might want to thicken up the sauce a bit.
        Also, I removed a substantial amount of oil that rose to the top of the pot as everything was cooking. I must have removed about 1/2 cup of fat from the chicken and coconut - I don't think it affected the flavour cuz there was lots of fat left :)

        1. re: tartetatin

          Wow - thanks for those tips. Very odd about the oil. I'll be on the lookout.

          1. re: LulusMom

            The fat separates out from the coconut milk and the chicken and rises to the top of the sauce. Oseland says that he wouldn't recommend spooning too much of it out as it adds to the flavour of the sauce, but I found that my sauce was still very flavourful!

      2. re: tartetatin

        Javanese Chicken Curry. LOVED it!!! Thanks to previous reports and warnings on the lack of kapow. Because of those reports I added a bit of ground cumin and cayenne while the chicken was simmering. Heavenly, I mean I really loved this, but it defniitely needed the extra spice. It *did* get pretty oily, but I noticed that the author notes not to toss too much of this because it is very tasty. And it was, but also very rich because of it. Husband didn't go back for seconds - not sure if it was the richness or that he just wasn't crazy about it, but I'm guessing the former. Lulu, for some bizarre reason, said she didn't like it (she's not averse to spice and gobbled up the fish stew from the same book last week). Served this with baguette and that worked really well (there is a similar chicken dish at our local malaysian restaurant, and they serve that with roti) and a crisp white. We agreed that maybe a red would have worked better.

        1. re: tartetatin

          I made the Javanese Chicken Curry (Opor Ayam) for dinner tonight. This dish has a whole bouquet of vegetable fragrances with minimal "spice" - a bit of ground unroasted coriander, two cinnamon sticks and a bit of chile (I used two red thai bird chiles) were it for the spice.. It made me think of a person in a village going out and collecting a few tubers (galangal and ginger), gathering some garlic and shallots and grinding it all up, plucking a few leaves and herbs (daun salam, kaffir lime, lemon grass), cracking and grating a coconut and finally, killing a chicken and cooking it. The dish had lovely full herbaceous scents and I am sure it will be even better tomorrow.

          I have a few quibbles with the cooking instructions in this recipe- first, its really hard to get all the chicken "browned" in 10 min if the chicken is piled up in the pan and you dont want to overcook the spice paste. It took a good bit longer (and by the way, the chicken was not very brown but was obviously well on its way toward being fully cooked by the time this process was finished.

          Second, the heat levels specified were consistently too low (at least on my stove) to accomplish the stated tasks properly. I had to turn up the heat to medium to cook the paste and raised it further, almost to med high, to brown the chicken and later to cook the gravy to the right consistency. For that step, 40 min was about right, I eventually turned it up to med-high to complete it`-. I dont know what kind of stove Oseland was testing on, but it must have been hotter than mine!

          At the end, there was very little gravy and very little oil - I only saved about 1/3 of my can of coc milk to add at the end.

          I used all dark meat ($.79 for a large pack of leg quarters and thighs which I chopped up a bit. I skinned almost all of the meat before cooking and that worked fine.

          1. re: jen kalb

            jenkalb -- I enjoyed your image of the villager collecting all of the goodies for this recipe.

            I reviewed the Javanese chicken curry the other day (below) and I found the same problem with "browning" the meat. Next time I think I will do it in batches as I do in other stews, etc with a large quantity of thighs.

            I will make this again, but I think the spicier option noted at the end of the recipe :)

        2. Kevin's Spiced Roast Chicken with Potatoes, Penang Style, Pg. 287

          For my first attempt at Indonesian cooking I couldn't have chosen a more delicious dish. We loved everything about this even though I had to use black soy sauce instead of double black, but that's the only thing I had to substitute.

          To start with a chicken is marinated for 1 -2 hours unrefrigerated in a combination of:
          Soy sauce, double black SS, Worcestershire, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, small halved yellow onions and crushed black pepper...some inside the cavity and some out. The chicken is turned in the marinade every so often to completely cover the meat and onions. Preheat the oven to 450F then the chicken goes onto a shallow roasting pan rubbed with softened butter and with a few onion halves and cinnamon sticks inside the cavity and the rest scattered all around the chicken. Pour the remaining marinade over the chicken, cover loosely with aluminum foil and roast for 20 minutes. Turn the chicken over, baste with pan juices, cover and roast for another 20 min.

          Meanwhile the potatoes are scrubbed, left unpeeled and boiled till just tender, at which time they are added to the roasting pan and basted. The chicken continues to roast, uncovered for about another 20 minutes....when cooked, place the chicken on a serving platter and pour 1/2 of the juices over and allow to rest for about 10 minutes. The veggies can be placed in a bowl or around the chicken. It's a beautiful thing to see. The chicken is a lovely brown shade and so are the potatoes and onions. This was a delicious, succulent, juicy dish I will definitely make again.... with the double black soy sauce, though.

          I was going to make steamed rice but we thought because of the potatoes and onions that would be sufficient, and it was. However, I also made stir-fried Shanghai choy which I will report on in the appropriate thread. Oh, DH served Singha Thai beer, a lager - no Tiger beer at the store. Just let me say that it was cold and not sweet. DH called it water.....It didn't interfere with all the flavors of the food and that was a good thing.

          21 Replies
          1. re: Gio

            Oh, I've been anxious to see how this turned out. Yay! Thank you for trying it and thank you for reporting back.

            As a side note, I notice a lot of folks are indicating that the flavors aren't as bold as they'd hoped. I haven't yet tried cooking anything from the book (and don't know how much I'll be able to get in, actually, though I really, really want to), but my limited experience in Indonesia (really, only Bali) is that the flavors are much more subtle and muted than, say, Thai food, with which I was more familiar. I took me awhile to learn to appreciate that. The Balinese people are a gentle folk, and it's as if the food reflects this.


            1. re: The Dairy Queen

              I think this is a great point TDQ - it's like we're all expecting lots of spice but maybe the dishes are more subtle than that. Also it seems that the sambals and pickles are what adds the heat. I don't have a lot of experience of the region's food, but I'm going to a Malaysian restaurant on Saturday with a friend from Singapore so I'm hoping to learn a whole lot more.

              1. re: greedygirl

                I have to say this chicken dish is truly a delectable dish. I do hope you will try it. The 2 hour marinade is key to make sure the chicken is infused with the flavors of the spices. I think some people may equate Spicy to mean Hot. When in reality there's a vast difference..The dish IS spicy but not hot. Think pumpkin pie without a lot of sugar.

                1. re: Gio

                  I'm afraid the pumpkin pie reference is lost on me, Gio! But I think I know what you mean.

                2. re: greedygirl

                  We frequent a Malaysian restaurant in chinatown and most of the dishes there are very strongly flavored. There isn't too much of spiciness, but the flavors are so bold that they are almost pungent. The only dish which is mild in this restaurant is roti canai, where roti is served with chicken and potatoes in coconut sauce.

                  I am not having a similar experiance with the book, even though I have loved everything I have made from this book.

                  1. re: cpw

                    Are you saying that the recipes in the book (that you've made so far) aren't boldly flavoured?

                    1. re: greedygirl

                      I think they are mild as compared to this one Malaysian restaurant I go to. But these recipes are not only delicious, but well rounded flavors.
                      Also since I don't have the book in front of me, I don't remember if everything I have cooked is Malaysian?

                      1. re: cpw

                        So far the dishes I've made have also been milder than I'm used to at my local Mayalsian restaurant. But since I've never been to any of these places I have no idea whether my local is authentic or not (but it IS delicious).

                        1. re: LulusMom

                          Do your Malaysian restaurant also serve Roti Canai with the side of chicken coconut saucy dish. Every Malaysian restaurant I have been to here, has this dish as an appetizer. I am wondering how authentic is dish.

                          1. re: cpw

                            No, they don't serve that (I wish they did - sounds fantastic). They do serve something they call roti prata, which is fairly similar to the (ramped up version I made) java chicken curry with roti pancakes. Absolutely wonderful.

                            1. re: LulusMom

                              Sounds like roti canai and roti prata are the same thing. Isn't it delicious?

                3. re: The Dairy Queen

                  Not spicy?? Heh, heh. Try the West Sumatran variation of the chicken curry, as I did. Whoo hoo! Spicy-hot. Love those chiles! (You can use up to 25 thai chiles!)

                  Also, the grilled coconut chicken can vary in spicy heat since you have a range of 2-6 Holland chiles and 5-15 green Thai chiles.

                4. re: Gio

                  Kevin's Spiced Roast Chicken

                  Thanks to Gio and Oakjoan's reports I decided to make this. I had seen the recipe in the book and just thought "ho hum" but am very glad I made it. Like Oakjoan I decided to skip the potatoes and go with rice (I did coconut rice) instead. I think I'd do the potatoes next time, because I bet they'd be delicious with this marinade. This is rolling of a log easy. I let it marinade longer than 2 hours - probably more like 5, and 4 of those in the fridge. I used pearl red onions - next time I'd go with bigger oniongs because as wonderful as they were, they were mostly mush by the time the chicken was ready. Still and all, really good. Husband loved this. He said it didn't taste particularly asian to him, and I think I'd basically agree. Made more of the asian slaw from Fish without a Doubt to go with this (what can I say, we love it and it is such an easy side).

                  1. re: Gio

                    I made Kevin's Spiced Roast Chicken with Potatoes, Penang Style (Panang, Malaysia), p. 287

                    If I had any hesitation, OakJoan's cheer leading tipped the scale.

                    It is my new very favorite dish of all in the book so far! The worcestershire is perfect, and though I rarely use cloves, they went great along with cinnamon sticks. I didn't have small onions, just went with what I had on hand, which was fine. Otherwise, I did everything as directed though I used fingerling potatoes and ended up having to marinate the chicken overnight. I was worried the flavors might get too intense, but not the case. I like the technique of boiling the taters first before adding to the roasting pan. Next time I might use even more onions because they turn out so perfectly and infused w/ flavor.

                    In the third round of roasting -- about 20 mins after the foil was removed -- I found the chicken getting too dark, so I returned the aluminum foil to the bird, covering lightly and turning the temp down to 400 degrees. Also, in the first round after 20 minutes, it seemed there was very little liquid and one corner was burning, so I tossed in a bit of water.

                    This was heavenly. Good bass notes in the flavor, the chicken was juicy, the onions and potatoes divine. If anyone has doubts that chicken can be a dinner party dish, this will dispel that notion.

                    Served w/ green beans w/ coconut milk from Oseland (won't be doing that again, but that's another post), and leftover vinegar/red onion/may coleslaw from Goin. I think plain ol' boiled green beans would go well 'cause there's plenty of yummy pan juices to slosh them around in.

                    1. re: Gio

                      Kevin's Spiced Roast Chicken with Potatoes, Penang Style, Pg. 287

                      Well, it was tasty, yes. But, um, that's a lot of soy sauce! It was by far the strongest flavor. I'm frankly dubious that the 1 tsp of Worcestershire sauce made any difference whatsoever. Those of you who love this recipe, I'd be curious to hear whether you can really taste a difference if you leave out that 1 tsp. The cinnamon, cloves, and bay leaves, those certainly add to the flavor. But the Worcestershire? I'm unconvinced.

                      Okay, so let me tell you up front all of the changes that I made, and you can decide what value my report has to you. I used a large half chicken (free-range Rocky) that had been frozen (gasp), rather than a fresh whole chicken. My standard soy sauce is Pearl River Mushroom Soy which is very viscous and flavorful, but perhaps overkill in this recipe. I marinated at room temp for 2 hrs and roasted for about 1 1/2 hrs, per the recipe. I rinsed the bag I marinated in and added that water, a couple of tablespoons.

                      I used a 4 peppercorn mix for the crushed peppercorns, partly because I had them and seldom use them, and partly because I thought my straight Sarawak black peppercorns might be a bit intense. I actually think the floral scents of the 4 peppercorn mix added to the overall flavor profile, blending nicely with the cinnamon and cloves. I also looked at the recipe and thought, "Press peppercorns on AFTER chicken is dripping with soy sauce? No way!" and did the peppercorn press before added the soy sauce. Believe me, plenty of peppercorns clung to the chicken, no problem.

                      I didn't have small onions so I chopped up whole ones, which worked fine. They weren't even overcooked at the end. I used a mix of small round red potatoes and whole fingerlings. I declined to boil them separately and simply put them in at the start to roast. They came out fine, not even slightly overcooked.Those of you who boiled the potatoes before roasting them, what do you feel was gained by that step?

                      I don't usually butter chicken skin or the breast, but I remember a previous COTM where we remarked what an flavorful combination butter and soy sauce made, so I did use some. I can't really say if it made a difference. The breast was moist and tender and the skin was flavorful but not very crisp. Not sure I'd use the butter next time.

                      So the upshot for me is that I think Pearl RIver Mushroom Soy is too flavorful a soy sauce for this recipe. If I make it again, I might do half soy and half white wine/sake or maybe even 1/3 to 2/3. I'd actually love to have more Worcestershire flavor and would consider increasing that. The cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves, and peppercorns were a great effect.

                      We'll see how the leftovers fare. I deboned the chicken and poured all of the soy sauce pan juices over them and leftover potatoes.

                      1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                        Like Rubee I used Penzey's for the bay leaves, cinnamon stick, and whole cloves,
                        Pearl River Bridge Superior Light Soy, and Worcestershire, but
                        no double soy. In addition, I used Sechuan peppercorns, and butter which really makes
                        the dish, IMO.

                        I don't know why you had such a result. I do believe, however that sometimes modifications we make to an original recipe really make a difference. Having said that, you know I always seem to substitute one or two ingredients without any great disaster...

                        1. re: Gio

                          As I said, I think my real problem was that the Pearl River Mushroom Soy was too strong and heavy. If I had diluted it to, say, half strength, it might have been more like your Pearl River Light Soy.

                          Also, as an addendum: the clove flavor got too strong in the leftovers. I should have strained them out (obvious in hindsight).

                      2. re: Gio

                        Kevin's Spiced Roast Chicken with Potatoes, Penang Style, Pg. 287

                        Count me in the camp of fans of this dish. We both thought this was great, juicy and moist with nice flavor. I used Penzey's for the bay leaves, cinnamon stick, and whole cloves, and could smell them as this was roasting and taste them in the sauce. Other ingredients were soy (I used Pearl River Bridge Superior Light Soy), Koon Chun double-black soy, Worcestershire and black pepper, with butter to rub the chicken. I used what I had, which was a 5-lb chicken, small red potatoes, and large shallots. I also roasted the potatoes along with the chicken instead of parboiling. Like NYChowcook, I added a bit of water to the pan so the marinade wouldn't burn and also had to cover the chicken for a time during the last roasting stage..

                        We both went back for seconds, and ate all of the potatoes and shallots (those were especially good). It was just two of us, so I served everything and then put the sauce in a gravy boat so we could add what we wanted. Leftover roast chicken will be good with Asian noodles, or I might make some Vietnamese summer rolls for lunch. It's going to make great stock too.

                        1. re: Gio

                          I made this last night and was really looking forward to it, but I found it to be merely OK and not the brilliant success I was hoping for. This may have been because I was short of time, and only marinated the chicken for a scant hour. I also found that the temperature was too high - after 20 mins the liquid had much reduced and was starting to burn in one corner so I turned it down a notch. After the second 20 mins there was hardly any sauce left so I added some water. This may be because I have a fan-assisted oven, which is pretty common in the UK but not in the US?

                          Oh yes, and I was somewhat distracted and was attempting to watch the first episode of the new Swedish series of Wallander at the same time!

                          Anyway, I found the resulting dish just tasted like roast chicken with a bit of soy sauce dumped over the top - pleasant enough but nothing to write home about. I think I will try this again but with a longer marinating time and roasting at 200 rather than 220 - all of those rave reviews can't be wrong!

                          1. re: greedygirl

                            So sorry gg. I did enjoy thisone myself but I think sometimes when I read so many rave reviews I'm expecting ambrosia, and then ... ok, just chicken.

                        2. Opor Ayam -- Javanese Chicken Curry, p 275 (Java, Indonesia)

                          This was my first-ever take on Indonesian cooking. I am proud of the results, although I ended up modifying the dish a little the day after making it, because the flavors were a little too subtle for me.

                          This is GORGEOUS. See PHOTO 1.


                          I used chicken thighs here. I was afraid of dry breast meat, as tartetatin stated above. I would definitely use all thighs again. So rinse the chicken and pat dry. I found all ingredients except the Holland chiles and the daun salam leaves, though I tried finding both with the intensity of any obsessed COTM-er.

                          First make a flavoring paste. In my mini-processor, I blended coriander seeds, 1 chile (couldn’t find the Holland, though I looked high and low), shallot, garlic, fresh galangal, fresh ginger. I had to add a little water, as Oseland suggest, one Tbsp at a time so that I could get "the consistency of creamy mashed potatoes." I ended up with just that consistency using about 2 Tbsp water. I like the clarity of his instructions.

                          I heated a couple of Tbps of peanut oil over medium-low heat (my first time using peanut oil, too) in my Le Creuset French oven. I cooked the paste as he described (see PHOTO 2). Mine took about six minutes, and I could notice the smell of cooked garlic and shallot,. Plus, at six minutes, the paste did separate from the oil, as he says it would. Then I added cinnamon stick, lemongrass, lime leaves and sauteed for a minute. Then I threw the chicken into the pot and sauteed the meat in the flavoring paste to brown. It took a little longer than the suggested 10 minutes to brown the meat. I did --not-- do this in batches. He says it's okay to pile it up in the pan in two layers, which I did, but it definitely took longer than ten minutes this way.

                          Then I added a cup of coconut milk, 1 1/4 cups water, and a little salt to the pot. I brought this to a careful low simmer and let it simmer uncovered, about 50 minutes. I was quite careful so that the coconut milk wouldn't curdle (it didn't, luckily). Then I added another cup coconut milk, heated that gently for another couple of minutes. I did NOT remove any oil.

                          As he suggests, I let this rest for at least 20 minutes before eating.

                          The Verdict:

                          My SO and I tried the Opor Ayam and we both had the same reaction. In her words, "it tastes like it's missing something. What would that be?" I like tartetatin's description of the dish as "subtle" although I admit that to me it bordered on bland.

                          The next day: still lacking in any kind of flavor punch. I gather that the dish is meant to taste that way. Definitely, it is a "silky-rich curry," as he says in the Menu Suggestions. I also realized, afterwards, that the West Sumatran version is described as "spicy-hot" so I'll try that one next time.

                          However, it was just too mild for me, and I couldn’t keep eating it that way. So I added some Aleppo chile and, for another dimension, I tossed in some pineapple and pineapple juice. With those additions, the dish was DELIGHTFUL and actually, I will definitely make it again, with more heat in the flavoring paste, and certainly the pineapple chunks and juice. I used canned, despite his protestations in other recipes calling for pineapple. But this curry was exquisite with the pineapple. We couldn't stop eating it!

                          Note: SO said the cinnamon was a really strong (but not intrusive) flavor here, though I didn’t notice it as much.

                          My favorite parts of preparing this recipe:
                          -the scent of galangal.
                          -watching the flavoring paste come together and observing it sizzling in the peanut oil (see PHOTO2)
                          -bruising the lemongrass and tying it into a knot. "Tying whole stalks into knots and adding them to dishes as they cook is an Indonesian technique that allows dishes to be subtly perfumed without being overwhelmed by the taste of the lemongrass" (Oseland 76). I used a jar to bruise the lemongrass. See PHOTO 3.
                          --the meditative quality of creating this dish. I set time aside to really enjoy the process of cooking this new cuisine. The kitchen smelled amazing, too.

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: foxy fairy

                            Ak! Two of my photos didn't appear.

                            Photo 1 -- Opor Ayam, Javanese Chicken Curry
                            Photo 2 -- flavor paste sizzling in peanut oil
                            Photo above -- lemongrass knot -- smells divine and so CUTE!

                            1. re: foxy fairy

                              Did you have the oil problem that TT had? I have to say, I'm worrying about the subtlty of this dish ...

                              1. re: LulusMom

                                One of the characteristics of these dishes is that with cooking the oil separates out from the coconut milk. Since spice flavors tend to be picked up in the oil you do not want to skim off all the oil (tho certainly you can skim some). Also, the oil is part of the sauce that is spooned over rice. This would be a major dietary and flavor component, esp in cultures where less protein and more rice is eaten than ours. the sauce tends to be lip smacking! Its hard to view this food outside its natural cultural context - No reason you cant fiddle with the amount of protein, sauce and rice to meet dietary concerns

                                1. re: jen kalb

                                  I ended up making the chicken last night (see up-thread) and did have lots of oil, but loved the tastiness of it. Soaked on a baguette it was heaven.

                              2. re: foxy fairy

                                My files were too big, so here I am trying to post the images again:

                                * Flavor paste sizzling in peanut oil
                                * Finished Opor Ayam

                                1. re: foxy fairy

                                  I had leftover Javanese Chicken Curry tonight and LOVED it! There is plenty of oil left in the dish for flavour and the other flavours of the curry have develped even further. I served it with baguette this time and sopped up the juices - with a side of sauteed snow peas (simple and delicious). I really appreciate the flavours of these dishes - fairly straigthforward to prepare yet very complex in layering of flavours. Can't wait to make another few dishes this weekend (and some sambals for extra heat!). Will definitely report back.

                                2. re: foxy fairy

                                  did you use the daun salam? that adds an additional flavor dimension. A little lime juice and extra salt at the end might help too.

                                3. Grilled coconut chicken with lemon basil (p. 292)

                                  I made this in advance of COTM and would recommend it to others. I'm planning to try again.

                                  Interesting technique that creates layers of flavor and moist chicken due to simmering chicken in flavored coconut milk broth and then grilling (or you can broil)

                                  10 Replies
                                  1. re: NYchowcook

                                    Kevin's Chicken redux

                                    After reading the posts about it AND finding the recipe online, I tackled this last night. The marinade was simple and I actually remembered to pour it over the chicken in plenty of time. I even remembered to turn the chicken.

                                    Although I had 3 huge onions, I had none that were small as the recipe called for. I chopped them into large chunks. The marinade is so simple and took just a few minutes to prepare. I was a bit worried about the worchestershire sauce, but it added just the right spiciness.

                                    We had it for dinner last night with a big salad and some coconut rice. I was just not in the mood for the potatoes, but will try the dish with them soon.

                                    What a delicious flavor combo - the roasted onions, the chicken and the sauce are fantastic together. Wow! is all I can say.

                                    I will probably be late posting about some of the recipes since there is only one copy of his book in the Berkeley library (none elsewhere and I WILL NOT BUY it. Say it again, Joan, be strong. I WILL NOT BUY IT!), it's out and on hold when it's returned.

                                    No photos. We were too busy wolfing down the stuff to photograph it.

                                    1. re: oakjoan

                                      Oakjoan, dear heart, you know you'll Have To Buy it when you get it into your delicate little hands,,,,,just you wait and see. (~_^)

                                      1. re: oakjoan

                                        oakjoan, I have that Berkeley library copy, but I don't think I'll really be using it this month. I'll be happy to turn it over to you if you if you want to photocopy some recipes or something. Shoot me an email (see my profile), and we'll work something out.

                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                          Thanks, Caitlin! I was actually at the Berk. Lib. today and saw that it was out.

                                          I've got a number of Elizabeth David's books if she wins this next COTM and you need to borrow.

                                      2. re: NYchowcook

                                        I made the grilled chicken again, and have a photo to post.

                                        The chicken is cooked mostly in the simmering sauce, which makes it moist and flavorful, and then grilled.
                                        I didn't have lemon basil, so subbed some lemon peel in the simmering sauce.

                                        1. re: NYchowcook

                                          That extra step has kept me away from this one ... is it really not that much of a pain? It certainly looks really good.

                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                            If you like grilled chicken, this is the ultimate! A pain? Hmm. I'd say no, but then I'm a hound! It's not difficult, very delicious, and I was mindful of not feeling stressed during the cooking process(!).

                                            You do however have to stay in the kitchen (or nearby) to stir the chicken every five minutes or so as it simmers in the sauce. But that's when you can prep your vegetable (for me it was baby bok choi w/ chiles and garlic)

                                            I'm in training to become a foster parent and there was discussion about "going to all the trouble to cook a meal that took 1-1/2 hours" for your kids. I kept quiet, thinking: 1-1/2 hrs, that's kinda speedy! Why, just last night I cooked chicken that took 2-1/2! But as a hound I guess I live to eat . . . and cook!

                                            That's the long answer -- not difficult and now somewhat familiar -- flavor paste, saute flavor paste, add aromatics and coconut milk and simmer (and for this dish: grill at end).
                                            I expect to make again and again because I love to grill chicken and this is so delicious -- the flavor permeates the chicken (I used thighs) and gets grilled.

                                            1. re: NYchowcook

                                              The picture of your grilled chicken looks luscious, NY chowhcook. I just tried the chicken satay the other night, which was great, and I can't wait to check out this one! I have been eye-ing the recipe every couple of days, so this seals the deal!

                                              Congratulations on your endeavour to become a foster parent!

                                        2. re: NYchowcook

                                          Grilled coconut chicken with lemon basil (p. 292)

                                          I made this recipe tonight, to great acclaim. Like the Javanese Grilled Chicken, this can be prepared in advance and then just grilled at the last minute. He doesn't actually say this, but that's what I did -- simmer the chicken in the sauce, put the chicken in the refrigerator, simmer the sauce down to thicken it, grill at will.

                                          I think that a lot of the marinade that's brushed on the chicken while grilling just ends up on the grill, but it probably adds some flavor. I had plenty left over to serve at the table as an accompanying sauce, which I thought was more effective.

                                          I was cautious with the chiles due to guest preferences, but it was still very flavorful and satisfying. I used all chicken thighs and I skinned them because I really hate flabby skin and I also wanted the sauce flavors to contact and permeate as much of the meat as possible instead of having the skin be a barrier. With the Javanese Grilled Chicken, the skin was crispy on first grilling, but got flabby & yucky in storage, yet so much of the flavor was on the skin. I kept wishing the flesh had gotten more of the benefit of the marinade and grilling, so I removed the skins for this recipe. (Not that I have a a lot of leftovers this time -- just 2 pieces!).

                                          I served this with grilled asparagus (peanut oil and double black soy again) and the Herbed Rice Salad, which was also a hit.

                                          1. re: NYchowcook

                                            This was a huge hit with us. I've been underwhelmed by most of the recipes in this book, so this was a nice surprise. Good thing, too, since I bought a lemon basil plant this past spring just so I could make this.

                                          2. Anyone going to try making the fried chicken dishes? Garlic fried (p. 283) or Nyonya-style spiced (p. 285).
                                            They look pretty good, and I'll move onto that, particularly if I have 'hounds' company.

                                            That is, after I cook the fish and the crab that's in my refrigerator. (The power went out in a storm last night so I got off track and had to go out to my favorite restaurant for dinner -- boo hoo -- American!)

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: NYchowcook

                                              I have been eyeing both of them to be honest but leaning towards the garlic. Turns out my eating partner doesn't like coconut much.
                                              Bought a free-range chicken today.... I want to make the soup too. Am even considering using half for one, half for the other. A whole chicken is a lot for two people with one recipe.

                                              Just not enough days for everything that looks good.