Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Ayam Betutu (Balinese spiced chicken wrapped in banana leaves)

One of our most favourite Balinese dishes, Ayam Betutu, or Spiced chicken wrapped in banana leaves for the unfamiliar ears, is definitely not your typical student dinner. The delicate recipe took me an hour to prepare, 24 hours to marinade, an hour in the steamer, and a final hour in the oven! But, prepared with so much passion and... dare I say perseverence(?) this dish surely will take your taste buds on a roller-coaster ride, and probably make your momma proud too.

(One thing for sure, it was a heavy-weight challenge for my poor, cheap Haden mini food chopper - it didn't survive the marathon).

Ingredients: (taken liberally from here)

1 whole chicken, cut into small pieces (16 or so)
2 lime
2 banana leaves and aluminium foil to wrap

Spices: (process the following spices in a food processor, or if you prefer... the old n trusted mortar n pestle)
4 lemongrasses, finely angle cut
16 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced (whole lime leaves are "double ended", so each of them counts as 2)
2 tsp sugar
30 shallots
1 1/2 garlic buds NOT cloves
20 bird's eye chillies (this will be relatively hot, for milder taste use 15)
2 cm ginger, finely sliced
4 tsp ground turmeric
2 cm galangal
4 tbsp ground coriander
2 tsp dried shrimp paste/belacan/terasi
4 tbsp olive oil, add slowly to the mixture
salt as desired

1. Wash chicken throughly, pat dry, then drizzle with lime all over and rub with salt. Let it stand for 30 minutes.
2. Grind all spices in a food processor until smooth, careful not to overwork the processor or else you'll have to get a new one like me :(
3. Rub chicken with ground spices.
4. Break each banana leaf into 2, you'll be needing about 3 pieces (= 1 1/2 banana leaves).
5. Place chicken pieces in banana leaves and wrap them up, then wrap the leaves in foil. Marinade overnight.
6. Steam for an hour and then bake for a further hour at 160C.

Selamat makan!!!

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