Chicken Kapitan

The one nationality of food that I crave the most is Malaysian. I just love the stuff. From the delicious soups, to stir fries, rice dishes and salads to the awesome curries and stews – I love them all. Sweet, spicy, sour and salty – a marvellous combination of spice and texture. This kapitan curry is one of the tastiest I’ve eaten. I normally make my kapitan curries mega spicy as that’s how I like them – I also have a chilli bush in my garden that’s growing like a weed and producing thousands of chillies at the moment, so I hate to see a good chilli go to waste. This recipe has been toned down from my original, but it still packs a moderate punch – about a 6 out of 10. You can scale it up or down to your own taste naturally.

INGREDIENTS:
Spice Paste:

10 small shallots (peeled)
4cm piece galangal (sliced)
4cm piece fresh turmeric (or 1 teaspoon turmeric powder)
4 garlic cloves (peeled)
10-15 fresh Thai chillies (seeded)
6 candlenuts
1 teaspoon shrimp paste
1 teaspoon salt

Other:
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1kg chicken thigh fillets (cut into chunks)
2 lemongrass stalks (bruised with rolling pin)
5 kaffir lime leaves
1 400g can coconut milk
1 lime (juice of)

DIRECTIONS:
Using a food processor or hand blender, blend all the spice paste ingredients together into a smooth paste.

In a work or deep pan, heat the oil over a moderate heat until hot. Add the spice paste and stir fry for 10 minutes. If it begins to stick, add a little coconut milk.

Add the chicken, kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass and turn up the heat. Stir fry for a further 7-10 minutes. Pour in the coconut milk, fill up the empty can half way with water and add this to the pan too. Stir well and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium/low and simmer gently for 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked. Remove from the heat.

Stir in the lime juice and and adjust seasoning if needed.

SERVING:
Serve with plain boiled rice or the altogether more fancy coconut rice.

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