I'm pretty sure those who cook have a go-to recipe, right? Someone's coming for dinner? Or lunch? Or any other time of the day? Have no fear because "go-to" is there to save the day! While some people are comfortable cooking dishes like nasi lemak, ayam goreng and gulai in big batches for big crowds, I haven't had the same luck getting those things right, especially the ayam goreng (even just for my husband). Yes, you heard me right, alright; even after all these years of cooking, no matter what I do, I can't seem to make ayam goreng with utmost perfection.
So, having said that, what is my GO-TO?
Butter chicken, that's what!
I actually adapted the recipe from a butter prawn recipe, but since I found it, I think I've made butter chicken more times than I've made butter prawn!
Well, anyway. Yesterday I planned on cooking chicken for buka puasa. Having a go-to recipe is wonderful but it was only 11 days into Ramadan and we already had butter chicken sometime in the first week, so I definitely couldn't (well, I could, but wouldn't) repeat the same recipe.
Had to troll the internet for some other chicken recipes when I saw a really simple recipe for garlic-herb roast.
It was perfect (for me!) because it requires so few ingredients (all of which I have), it is super simple to prepare and I didn't need to use the stove (bad luck with ayam goreng, remember?), plus I didn't want to use the stove anyway since I had some laundry hanging to dry outside. And, most importantly, it's different from the roast that we normally have (you know, soy sauce, honey etc., which we just had the day before!).
Wrote the recipe down (walaupun simple, tapi first time buat) and visualised (and hoped) that it would turn out alright.
Ting ting. Husband messages me at around 5 p.m.,
"Buka apa hari ni ye?"
"Chicken", was my simple reply. Didn't want to get his hopes up too high. Hehe.
So, how did it turn out?
Wonderful (if I may say so myself)!
Initially planned to save some for sahur as well but none made it past 8 p.m., dalam kata lain... habis semuanya!
And because it was a good recipe, I'm thinking that this could be my other "go-to" too!
Now, on to the recipe(s):
1. chicken - I normally use about 3 chicken keels, cut into smaller pieces
2. 3 tablespoons butter - I also save some oil from frying the chicken to mix with the butter
3. 6 birds eyes chillies (cili api) - I use cili kering, in larger quantity to keep the heat down (you may adjust to your liking)
4. 3 sprigs curry leaves - Tip: if you have fresh ones, leave them to dehydrate in the fridge and take them off the stem and store in a bottle. Keep refrigerated. These days, I have a constant supply.
5. 3 cloves garlic - I normally use about 5-6 because I love the taste
6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
7. 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
8. 6 tablespoon grated coconut (dry fry until fragrant) - I use a packet of santan serbuk mixed with 200 ml of water. Alternatively, you can use susu sejat if you don't like the taste of coconut.
1. Shallow fry chicken and set aside.
2. Melt butter, add chillies, curry leaves, garlic, salt. Fry for about 2 mins or until fragrant. If using santan or susu sejat, put in at this point.
3. Add prawns, sugar, soy sauce. If using grated coconut, add in at this point. Cook over high heat.
And wallah! Siap! Best served with steamed rice and salads of your choice.
1. 2 tablespoons olive oil
2. 6 garlic cloves
3. 1/4 cup vinegar or lemon juice - I tried with vinegar yesterday
4. 3 tablespoon fresh thyme - I used dried thyme
5. Coarse salt - I used normal salt
6. black pepper - about 2 tablespoon also
7. chicken cutlets - I had about 5-6 yesteday, but I think this recipe was meant for 10 cutlets
1. With pestle and mortar (kalau malas silalah pakai blender), crush the garlic and pepper together.
2. Put in olive oil, vinegar and thyme.
3. Marinate the chicken for 10-30 mins.
4. Preheat oven at 250 degrees celcius - Tip: when the oven is slightly heated, take your roasting pan and place it in the oven to be preheated too. I do quite alot of roasting and I find that doing this really helps to get a perfect roast.
5. Take out the preheated roast pan and place chicken on it. Also put in all the access marinade together with the chicken.
6. Reduce oven temperature to 220 degrees and put chicken in - it'll be ready in about 40-60 minutes or so.
And wallah! Siap! In my opinion, this goes really well with breads. We had it with pita yesterday, with salads. Tip: the drippings from the roast can be used as salad dressing and gravy for the chicken. Sedap gila! Alternatively, while waiting for the chicken to cook, you can prepare some salsa. We had left-over salsa with our meal last night :)
Happy trying, everyone!
Who knows, maybe my go-to will become your go-to, too? ;)