My first entry for 8th Merdeka Open House 2013 Date & Theme: Treasures from Sabah & Sarawak would be this Ayam Likku which is actually Galangal Chicken. I've first discovered this recipe in Her World Cook Book Vol 78 which has the theme Food Journey Across Malaysia.
This was introduced by Amber Chia who says that this Ayam Likku is a very famous dish from Tawau, Sabah. It's a traditional Bugis dish where the main ingredient is galangal (likku).
As I browsed through the ingredients, sounds simple enough to prepare. However, I was a bit concerned when it need to cook coconut milk with the chicken for 45 minutes... won't it split? As I was cooking, then I realised that the coconut milk was merely the liquid to get the chicken cooking and as it cooks, it actually turn into oil which in turns will saute the aromatics as it continues to cook. Brilliant I would say!
Capt'n Hook said this chicken was really delicious which is quite rare lol when it comes to my cooking as my low salt nature really turns him off! He loves how aromatic the gravy was. Anyway, I've reduced the recipe size using 2 chicken legs instead of 4. So the recipe is my take with observations and whatever not.
Ayam Likku (Galangal Chicken)
Serves 2 - 3
(A) Finely minced:
5 cm galangal
1 stalk lemongrass
2 cloves garlic
4 shallots (40 g)
2 chicken legs
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
125 ml thick coconut milk
1/2 Tbsp turmeric powder
Sugar & salt to taste
In a hot pan with lid, heat up the oil and saute (A) on medium high heat until the aromatics are properly fried through and smells fragrant (takes about 15 - 20 mins).
Pour in coconut milk and turmeric powder, mix in well. Season with salt and sugar (remember to taste). Slip in the chicken legs and coat them evenly with the mixture in the pan. Cover the pan and simmer on low heat.
You'll need to stir and scrape the aromatics at the bottom of the pan to prevent burning and sticking every now and then. To add a little colour to the chicken skin, do cook them skin down and turn them around when done.
I've used free range chicken so the cooking time was about 25 minutes. Serve hot with rice. Yums!