Balinese Roast Chicken




For as long as I can remember Bali has been a favourite holiday destination of mine and one of the main reasons is the food. I absolutely love traditional Balinese food and I love eating in the local warung which traditionally served food that the family who owned it was eating that day.


These days Bali has become a mecca of fine food and amazing international restaurants and tourists now go for the culinary experience as much as they go for the beach and shopping. The last time I was in Bali was 2018 and I bypassed the fancy trendy restaurants and went straight to the Warung for traditional Balinese food.


For 10 days we ate traditional cuisine but the one dish that stood out was roasted chicken in a small Warung on the side of a road in a small village. The flavour was absolutely out of this world and we sat at a small table with a bintang in hand chatting to the family who owned the cafe eating this most amazing yet simple dish with Nasi Goreng that two years on I can still remember it vividly.


Traditional Balinese spices used in cooking are generally galangal, ginger, shallots, candlenut, lemongrass, lime leaves, shrimp paste, tamarind, garlic and chilli. Most of these ingredients are readily available in Australia either in the local supermarket or a specialty Asian grocer.


If some of the ingredients are not available there are substitutes that can be used

Galangal - you can use normal ginger

Candlenut - you can use macadamia nuts

Kaffir Lime Leaves - you can use bay leaves and some lime juice


The most important part of the process is getting the correct balance of all the ingredients and using fresh herbs and spices rather than dried so you get the full aroma in your curry paste.


With a holiday to Bali on the distant horizon I decided to see if I could recreate the flavour in the chicken at home. While it was not 100% the same flavour largely to do with the fact the Warung cooked in a clay pot on open coals it was close to what we ate and there was no chicken left at the end of the meal!


This recipe is quick and easy you only need a food processor to make the curry paste or your trusty thermomix and once the paste is made you marinate the chicken and cook in the oven or on the BBQ.



Chicken marinated for 8 hours and ready to go in the oven

Prep 10 min // Cook 45min (does not include marinating time)


INGREDIENTS

1kg Chicken thighs bone in cutlets with skin on (or you can use a whole chicken and vary your cooking time)

10 cloves garlic

4 birds eye chilli (or long red chilli if you prefer)

6 shallots

2 tbs fresh ginger

2 tbs galangal (omit if you cannot find)

2 tsp tumeric powder

6 Kaffir lime leaves

3 tomatoes

1/2 tsp shrimp paste

1 lemongrass stalk (white only)

1/4 cup coconut cream


THERMOMIX METHOD

  1. Bruise lemon grass with a knife and chop roughly and place in bowl.

  2. Cut shallots, chili, ginger and galangal (if using) roughly and place in bowl.

  3. Add garlic to the bowl and chop 7 sec/sp 9 and scrape down bowl.

  4. Cut tomatoes into quarters and add to bowl with lime leaves, tumeric powder and shrimp paste and blend 4sec/sp6 and scrape down bowl.

  5. Add coconut cream and mix 5sec/sp6.

  6. Place chicken in a container and rub over curry paste and marinate in fridge for approx 8 hours for best result.

  7. Heat oven or BBQ to 160deg and place chicken on tray or direct on grill and roast for approx 45min until chicken is cooked through.

  8. Serve with steamed rice or traditional Balinese fried rice.

NON THERMOMIX METHOD

  1. Bruise lemon grass with a knife and chop roughly and place in food processor.

  2. Cut shallots, chili, ginger and galangal (if using) roughly and place in food processor

  3. Add garlic to the food processor and blitz for 5 sec.

  4. Cut tomatoes into quarters and add to bowl with lime leaves, tumeric powder and shrimp paste and blend for 4-5 sec.

  5. Add coconut cream and mix through well in the processor.

  6. Place chicken in a container and rub over curry paste and marinate in fridge for approx 8 hours for best result.

  7. Heat oven or BBQ to 160deg and place chicken on tray or direct on grill and roast for approx 45min until chicken is cooked through.

  8. Serve with steamed rice or traditional Balinese fried rice.

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