Laksa-Fried Chicken with Mint Sauce

Adapted from Masterchef Magazine August 2010 issue 4

Ingredients:

  • 1.6 kg whole chicken rinsed, patted dry, cut into 10 pieces (I used 4 chicken drumsticks and 4 chicken thighs with bone and skin on)
  • Vegetable oil, to deep-fry
  • 75 g (1/2 cup) cornflour
  • 75 g (1/2 cup) plain flour
  • 90 g (1 cup) desiccated coconut
  • Fried long chilli, steamed rice and garlic chives (optional), to serve

Laksa Curry Paste:

  • 5 dried long chillies, seeded, available from Asian grocers
  • 2 tbsp dried shrimp, available from Asian grocers
  • 2 long red chillies, seeded
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 5 macadamia nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp finely grated ginger
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, white part only, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) peanut oil (I used barn rice oil)

Mint Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp finely chopped Vietnamese mint (or coriander leaves), available from selected greengrocers and Asian grocers.
  • 80 ml (1/3 cup) rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 red bird's-eye chilli, seeded, finely chopped

Method:

  1. To make curry paste, place dried chillies and shrimp in separate bowls. Cover both with boiling water and soak for 20 minutes. Drain. Process chillies and shrimp with remaining ingredients in a food processor to a paste.
  2. Place chicken pieces and curry paste in a large snap-lock bag. Seal bag, then rub chicken with paste to coat. Refrigerate overnight to marinate.
  3. To make mint sauce, place all the ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake well to combine. Set aside until needed.
  4. Preheat oven to 160C. Remove chicken from bag, leaving a coating of paste on the chicken. Fill a deep-fryer or saucepan one-third full with oil and heat over medium heat to 160C (or until a cube of bread turns golden in 20 seconds). Combine flours, coconut and 2 tsp salt in a bowl. Coat chicken thighs and legs in the coconut mixture, then drop gently in oil and fry, turning occasionally, for 8 minutes or until dark golden (it will not be cooked through). Drain on paper towel. (Remark: I removed the chicken from fridge, and let them rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before deep-frying.)
  5. Transfer to an oven tray lined with baking paper and roast for 8 minutes or until cooked. Meanwhile, coat and fry chicken breasts for 8 minutes or until cooked through. Drain on paper towel and transfer to the oven tray to keep warm. Repeat coating with chicken wings, frying for 5 minutes or until cooked through. Drain on paper towel. Scatter chicken with fried chilli and season with sea salt. Serve with mint sauce, rice and garlic chives, if using.

Note:

  • Ask your butcher to cut the chicken into 2 thighs, 2 legs, 2 wings, and each breast in half on the bone. As I used drumsticks and thighs, I deep-fried them in batches, drumsticks first then followed by thighs.

Source: Laksa-Fried Chicken with Mint Sauce [Christine's Recipes]