Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Balinese Chicken and Vegetables with Cauliflower Rice

I was searching for something the other day (can't even remember what is was - don't think I ever found it!) and hunting through old boxes of junk and came across some old recipe cards that I must have picked up from the supermarket (Countdown to be specific for anyone looking for the original recipe). Yes, I am a recipe hoarder! So far this year my xmas wish list consists of recipe books and kitchen equipment. There is a theme here!

So anyway, I found a recipe card for Balinese Chicken which sounded super yummy. The recipe was for a BBQ plate, but I have adapted the recipe a little to turn it into a full clean dinner meal. The end result was succulent chicken that was crispy on the outside and moist and tender underneath served with vegetables in a spicy, aromatic sauce. Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free and free of refined sugar this meal is sure to be a hit with the whole family!

 Chicken having a little simmer in its saucy bath... not yet beautiful, but just you wait!

Mmmmm crispy chicken!

The finished product... Fresh, vibrant and delicious

Balinese Chicken and Vegetables with Cauliflower Rice

(Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, free of refined sugar)

2 onions, roughly chopped
2 red chillies, deseeded and roughly chopped
3cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1tbsp tamarind paste
1 tsp honey (optional, it's just for flavour balance, but can easily be left out if you prefer)
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp coconut oil
6-8 pieces of chicken (drumsticks or thighs will be best, with bone in)
1 cup water
1 cup coconut milk

1 cup pumpkin, cut into 1cm strips
1 cup broccoli, cut into small florets
1/2 a red capsicum, cut into thick strips then halved
1/2 a cup of snow peas, trimmed

2 cups cauliflower, chopped into small florets
1 or 2 cloves of garlic (depends on how much you like garlic!)
salt and pepper to taste

1. In a small blender or food processor, place the onions, chillies, ginger, tamarind, honey, and salt. Blend until smooth. Put to one side while you prepare the chicken.
2. Heat the 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for around 4-5 minutes, turning regularly until golden on all sides.
3. Add your prepared spice paste to the pan with the chicken, and cook for a couple of minutes, moving the chicken around to coat it in the sauce.
4. Add the water and coconut milk, bring to a simmer then reduce heat and continue to simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 230C and line a baking tray with baking paper.You can also get your vegetables ready during this time. (chop vegetables and make cauliflower rice).
5. Once the chicken has simmered for 20 minutes, remove each piece of chicken from the pan (leaving the sauce behind) and place it on the baking tray. Pour the sauce into a bowl and set aside. Place the chicken in the oven and cook for around 10-15 minutes until crispy and golden and cooked through.
6. While the chicken is in the oven, you can cook the vegetables. In the same frying pan that you used for the chicken, heat the remaining tbsp of oil over a medium/high heat. Add the pumpkin and broccoli and stir fry for a few minutes until they start to soften slightly. Add capsicum and snow peas and fry for a minute, then add the sauce that you have sitting aside back into the pan. Fry for a few minutes until sauce is hot and vegetables are tender but not soft (or cooked to your liking).

To make the cauliflower rice:

1. Place the cauliflower florets into a food processor with the garlic and blend until fine crumbs are formed (do not overblend as you do not want to cream it). If you cannot blend it easily in one lot, do it in a couple of batches. It works better to have smaller lots in the food processor, and it works better if the florets are quite small. 
2. In a frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. 
3. Add the cauliflower and fry until softened. If the cauliflower sticks to the pan you can add around 1/4 cup of water or stock to loosen it up. 
4. Season with salt and pepper, add any other flavours you like (great with a dash of turmeric or paprika and just a squeeze of lemon juice), and you are ready to serve.

Note: Tamarind paste is easily found in your local asian supermarket, or probably in well stocked regular supermarkets.