|Incredible tasting chicken with gula melaka and fermented beans|
I have never in my conscious memory eaten this Peranakan dish, be it in the form of pork or chicken. But a recent trip to Malacca cranked up my awareness of this dish. Besides being told that it is a must-eat item by forummers, this dish is said to be uniquely Malaccan because of an iconic ingredient : Gula Melaka.
My girl too, who is indifferent to Chinese food, fell in love with the ayam pongteh and unabashedly raved about it , from the Jonker Street restaurant all the way back to Singapore.
To reproduce this delicious chicken treat, I trawled the internet and consolidated a recipe made from an amalgam of recipes. The end result of this recipe was a sort of eureka moment, so much so I wondered why I did not cook it earlier. One cannot dismiss the smoky flavor of gula melaka and multi-dimension saltiness of the fermented beans .
From the speed at which the dish was demolished, it seems like the recipe will go into the annals of the Experimental kitchen.
3 shallots, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 kampong chicken, cut into12 parts.
5 new potatoes, skinned
4 teaspoons fermented beans, mashed
6 teaspoons gula melaka
1 T black soya sauce
1 cup water
Heat a frying pan with 2 T of canola oil.
Saute garlic and onions, taking care not to burn it.
Add chicken parts and fry on medium high heat.
Add potatoes. Toss well.
Add fermented beans, gula , soya sauce and mix well.
Add water. Braise on medium heat for 30 minutes, covered.
Adjust the level of sweetness and color of the braised chicken according to your preference. Peranakan food is biased towards the sweet side, so tweak the amount of gula melaka according to your dietary preference.