Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Chicken Chop



Living in a different country can open you up to different cultures and experiences. Most importantly for me, it opens up a new arena of different ingredients that translates into new dishes to sample.  However, at the end of the day, there is no place like home, and home means the food that I grew up with.  

Spending the latter days of my teenage years and early twenties in New Zealand was a blessing in disguise.  Although it was difficult finding authentic food resembling that of those I had left behind, being such a melting pot of cultures, it wasn't too difficult to find ingredients to adapt recipes to those that I missed.  Coming to Queensland, it was even easier to put together Malaysian dishes, with temperatures and weather conditions similar to those back in Malaysia, allowing us to grow ingredients such as pandan in our backyard.

As you can gather, my passion for cooking started at a very young age, and while I absolutely enjoyed eating all the food from the hawker stalls, there was always a part of me observing the little tricks of the trade so that I could recreate these later down the track.

This Chicken Chop recipe is no ordinary Chicken Chop. This is a version resembling the famous Penang Bee Hooi Chicken Chop.  Due to my frequent visit to this kopi-tiam (literal translation coffee shop), I have learned a few tricks on a few of their dishes, including this one.  Even though our family no longer resides in Penang, I think it is so important for my children to know their culture and the foods that I grew up enjoying. And to be honest, I hear no complaints from them as they enjoy the local food with enthusiasm.


Ingredients:
(serves 6)

6 chicken thighs, skinless and boneless
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Dash of pepper
2 teaspoon sugar

5 button mushrooms, sliced 
1 large onion, sliced
4-5 potatoes, cut in to wedges or fries
2 tomatoes
Half a cucumber, sliced
1 small cos lettuce
1 tablespoon of plain flour
1L chicken stock
1 egg, beaten
Potato starch to coat chicken 
Oil for deep frying
salt and pepper

Steps:

Combine soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, pepper and sugar in a bowl with the chicken.
Cover and marinate the chicken overnight.

Remove the chicken from refrigerator 30 minutes prior cooking and let it come to room temperature.

Heat enough oil for deep frying in the pan and fry the potatoes (or use a deepfryer if you have one). Drain and set aside. Alternatively, you can toss in oil and bake in the oven for 30minutes until golden.



Coat the chicken thighs in the beaten egg and then the potato starch. Deep fry until golden. Drain and set aside. You can put the chicken in a warmed oven (I use approx 50 degree) so that the chicken remains warm and the excess oil can continue to drain off.




Remove oil from pan leaving about 2 tablespoons. Fry the onions and mushrooms until they are a little caramelised.  Mix together the chicken stock and flour. Add in the chicken stock mixture to the pan. Let it simmer and thicken, then turn the heat off. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper if you wish.



Put the salad ingredients together and let's start plating! I like to pour my sauce over the chicken just before we eat so that the chicken is still crispy.


I used to make a serving size of four when the boys were a little younger. I've now had to bump the serving size up to 6 due to their voracious appetite. I hope that you enjoy this version of Chicken Chop and if you are ever in Penang for some reason, don't forget to try out the real deal and let me know how it compares! Happy cooking friends!

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