Monday, July 24, 2023

Rendang Minangkabau/Chicken Rendang

When it comes to rendang, the world of flavors opens up with various types to explore (Chicken Rendang). While the common rendang is widely known, let's embark on a flavorful adventure with Rendang Minangkabau, a true gem originating from Indonesia. During recent trip to Indonesia, I had the pleasure of savoring this exquisite dish that is often found alongside other delectable offerings in the Nasi Padang spread. While the cooking technique may resemble the traditional rendang, the ingredients used in Rendang Minangkabau (Mutton Rendang) possess their own unique twist. In the attached video, I shared my firsthand experience and knowledge of Rendang Minangkabau, but now let's delve into the tantalizing recipe. Gather these ingredients to recreate the magic in your own kitchen.

 

Ingredients

For the Chicken:

1 chicken, cut into your preferred sizes and marinated with half a tablespoon of dark soy sauce. 

Set aside for later.

 

To Blend:

3 garlic cloves

2 lemongrass stalks

1/2-inch ginger piece

1-inch galangal piece

1 large red onion

 

Additional Ingredients:

Dried red chilies (adjust to your desired level of spiciness)

1 star anise

2 cinnamon sticks

1 bay leaf

3 cloves

Other essentials:

2 tablespoons of oil

Kerisik (pan-roasted and pounded grated coconut)

2 cups of thick coconut milk (extracted from one coconut)

 

Method

Begin by heating oil in a large pan over medium heat.

Once the oil is hot, add the blended ingredients to the pan, releasing their enticing aromas as they sizzle. Stir them gently to infuse the oil with their flavors.


Now, introduce the spices – star anise, cinnamon sticks, bay leaf, and cloves – into the pan. 

Give them a good stir, allowing their fragrances to mingle with the ingredients, creating a tantalizing base for the rendang.


Pour in the rich coconut milk, watching as it gracefully swirls with the aromatic mixture. 

Stir everything together, ensuring the flavors are well distributed.


Lower the heat and let the rendang simmer gently, allowing the coconut milk to gradually reduce and thicken. 

This slow cooking process will coax out the flavors and intensify the richness of the dish.


Once the coconut milk has reduced to your desired consistency, it's time to add the marinated chicken. Carefully place the chicken pieces into the pan, ensuring they are submerged in the fragrant sauce.


Allow the chicken to cook in the simmering rendang, soaking up the flavors and becoming tender. 

As the chicken cooks, the gravy will continue to reduce and thicken, creating a luscious coating that clings to each succulent piece.


At this point, it's time to add the kerisik – the pan-roasted and pounded grated coconut. 

This addition brings a delightful nutty undertone to the rendang, enhancing its complexity. 

Season with salt according to your taste preferences.


As the rendang continues to cook, you have the flexibility to decide the desired amount of gravy. 

If you prefer a thicker sauce, allow it to reduce further. 


Don't worry if the gravy appears abundant; over time, it will be absorbed into the chicken, creating a sublime melding of flavors.


Once the chicken is cooked through, and the gravy has reached your desired consistency, turn off the heat and savor the mouthwatering aroma that fills your kitchen. 

The rendang is now ready to be enjoyed.

Rendang Minangkabau, with its harmonious blend of spices, succulent chicken, and creamy coconut sauce, is a true culinary masterpiece. Serve it with steamed rice and prepare to be transported to the enchanting land of Minangkabau, where flavors dance on your palate and cultural heritage comes to life through food.


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