Braised Chicken in Coconut Milk “Opor Ayam” (recipe)
Yum Yum Yum. Those are the best words I can find to describe the fragrant burst of flavours that this dish offers. And to think that I would never have found it if I hadn’t participated in Adopt a Gluten Free Blogger. As I have previously mentioned, an allergic reaction on my mother’s part has forced me to become more conscious about the dishes that I prepare. Now I actively seek out gluten-free food blogs however most of them have featured lists of ingredients that are either impossible to find here, or if available come with a high cost. That’s why I was so glad to discover Wheatless Bay and her recipe for Opor Ayam. According to her Opor Ayam is a traditional dish of celebration at Eid ul-Fitr, the end of Ramadan, in Java. From my research it appears it is also eaten in Malaysia. Due to the fact that Eid is a national holiday here in Trinidad, and that curry dishes are a daily affair here, I thought that this offering was for me a more genuine holiday food representation than the Pumpkin Pies, green bean casseroles and cranberry sauces that have dominated the US food blogs over the past month.
The base of the recipe is a floral paste of ground nuts (she used macadamian I used cashew), coriander, tumeric and garlic to which coconut milk is added and allowed to simmer. Skinned chicken pieces are then added to the mixture and allowed to braise gently. Absorbing the flavours and remaining deliciously tender in the process. As I had 2 packs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the freezer I used these in cubed form, instead of boned pieces, and found the substitute quite satisfactory another substitute however turned out a little different. Instead of tamarind juice (her recommendation) I decided to add tamarind chutney at the end. I’m not sure if the tastes are significantly different but I found I added almost 1/2 a cup of tamarind chutney before the sauce really ‘sang’ to me. But when it did, boy did it! The longer the dish sits the more flavourful it appears to become, however I’m not sure how much you’ll have leftover if you give it a try 🙂