Ayam Kapitan (Captain’s curry)
- Preparation and cooking time
- plus marinating
- More effort
- Serves 8
- 2 tbsp turmeric
- 1 tbsp flaky sea salt
- 8 chicken legs , on the bone and skin on, cut into thighs and drumsticks
- 225ml vegetable oil
- 500ml thick coconut milk (this must be full-fat)
- 2 lemongrass stalks, bruised
- 4 limes leaves
- 2 tbsp chicken stock powder
- 2 tbsp white caster sugar
- 85g tamarind paste
For the spice paste
- 40 small dried chillies , seeds removed
- 50g fresh ginger , peeled and roughly chopped
- 50g galangal , peeled and roughly chopped
- 4 lemongrass stalks, tender part only
- 350g Thai or regular shallots , roughly chopped
- 25g candlenuts or macadamia nuts
- 4 garlic cloves , roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- STEP 1
Mix the turmeric, salt and 3 tbsp water in a large non-metallic dish, then add the chicken pieces. Rub all over the chicken, cover and chill overnight, or leave at room temperature for 30 mins.
- STEP 2
Meanwhile, make the spice paste. Soak the dried chillies in hot water for 20 mins until soft. Drain, then mix the chillies and other ingredients together in a processor or blender until smooth.
- STEP 3
Heat the oil in a deep wok or large, heavy-based saucepan. Fry the chicken in batches for 5 mins until golden, turning halfway through. Drain the chicken on kitchen paper. Carefully remove half of the oil to a heatproof container, then add the spice paste to the remaining oil in the wok.
- STEP 4
Fry the paste for 5 mins, then return the chicken to the pan, followed by the coconut milk, lemongrass and lime leaves. Cook for a further 5 mins, then stir in the stock powder, sugar and tamarind paste. Simmer gently for 1 hr 30 mins-1 hr 40 mins until the chicken is falling off the bones.