Serving
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Chicken Besegnek
Indonesia
  -   Ayam Besegnek
Serves
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
2 main  
***
1 hr  
All
This is an intensely flavorful curry (but not chili hot). Serve it with plenty of steamed Jasmine rice. Bumbu Besegnek is a spice mix used particularly with chicken. It's sold commercially in Indonesia but probably not where you live. It's better made fresh anyway.


1-1/4
5
1
1
2
ar
1-1/2
1/2
6
1
1/4
------
2
1/3
1
1/3
1/3
------
#
oz
cl
T


T
t
oz
T
t
---
t
t
t
t
t
---
Chicken (1)
Onion
Garlic
Tamarind (2)
Candlenuts (3)  
Oil for deep fry
Oil
Palm Sugar
Coconut Milk
Soy Sauce
Salt
--- Besegnek
Galangal root
Belacan (4)
Coriander seed
Cumin seed
Chili powder
------------
Prep
  1. Cut CHICKEN into largish bite size pieces. If using whole chicken parts (legs, thighs, wings) chop each part in half crosswise. A sharp Chinese cleaver knife driven by a soft faced mallet is perfect for this.
  2. Chop ONIONS fine, chop GARLIC fine, mix.
  3. Make Besegnek:   Slice GALANGAL as thin as you can, pound it with your kitchen mallet and chop very small. Wrap BELACAN in foil and roast it over a small flame (or however you can) until it is aromatic or the first wisp of smoke is seen. Grind together Spices. Pound together all Besegnek items into a paste in a large stone mortar - or use a mini-prep food processor.
  4. Prepare TAMARIND as required.
  5. Grind CANDLENUTS fine.
Run
  1. Heat Oil enough for deep fry over high flame in an kadhai, iron chicken fryer or wok and fry Chicken until lightly browned. Scoop out with a slotted spoon, drain and set aside. Do this in small batches so the chicken browns before it drys out - it doesn't take any longer that way.
  2. Heat 1-1/2 T Oil in a spacious sauté pan or wok and gently fry Onion mix stirring until medium brown, being careful not to burn at all.
  3. Stir in the Besegnek Mix and fry stirring for about 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in Tamarind, Candlenuts and Palm Sugar, then stir in the Coconut Milk and bring to a boil stirring constantly. Cover and turn down to a simmer for about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in Soy Sauce and Salt, then Chicken. Bring back to a simmer, cover and simmer for 3/4 hour, turning occasionally, Watch that it doesn't get too dry.
  6. Serve with plenty of steamed Jasmine rice.
NOTES:
  1. Chicken:   The weight given is for skinless boneless pieces (preferably thigh). In Indonesia it would more likely be bone in pieces or a whole chicken chopped into serving pieces, just add 1/4 pound if you use bone in joints.
  2. Tamarind:   If your Tamarind is concentrate in a jar, use 1 T, or if it's block use about 1 T, soak and strain. If you don't have tamarind use 2 t lemon juice - not the same, but it's something. For details see our Tamarind page.
  3. Candlenuts:   If not available, use 4 raw Macadamias or raw Cashews, or lacking those, 6 raw blanched almonds. For details see our Candlenut page.
  4. Belacan:  (Indonesian Terasi) is a block form of shrimp paste and quite . . umm . . aromatic. Other shrimp pastes can be used, but the Thai variety is a bit too civilized. For details see our Shrimp Sauce / Paste page.
  5. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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