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Opor Ayam Recipe

What is Opor Ayam? Opor ayam is an Indonesian, especially from Central Java, traditional dish of braised chicken cooked in coconut milk. This chicken has a Spice mixture including galangal, lemongrass, cinnamon, tamarind juice, palm sugar, coriander, cumin, candlenut, garlic, shallot, and pepper. Still, it remains a staple on tables around the end of Ramadan, when it’s served with packed rice cakes.

Opor Ayam Recipe

Serves 4

cook time:30 min, prep time: 30 min

Opor Ayam Ingredients:

  • 1 fresh red Holland chile or cayenne chili, stemmed and chopped

  • 6 shallots, peeled and chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

  • 1 piece of fresh galangal, 1-1/2-inches long, peeled and thinly sliced

  • 1 piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds

  • 1 3-pound whole free-range chicken OR 2-1/2 pounds free-range chicken breasts, wings, thighs, and/or drumsticks (dark-meat pieces will result in a tastier dish)

  • 3 tbsp peanut oil

  • 2 pieces cinnamon stick, each piece 4 inches long

  • 1 fresh lemongrass, bruised and tied into a knot

  • 5 whole fresh kaffir lime leaves

  • 4 daun salam leaves

  • 2 cups canned unsweetened coconut milk

  • 1 cup water

  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Opor Ayam preparations:

  1. First, make the flavoring paste. Place the chile, shallots, garlic, galangal, ginger, and coriander in a small food processor, and pulse until the coriander is well ground (no visible bits or pieces should remain) and you have a smooth paste the consistency of creamy mashed potatoes. (If the paste will not purée properly, and repeatedly creeps up the side of the food processor instead of grinding, add up to 2 tablespoons of water to it, 1 tablespoon at a time, periodically turning the processor off and scraping the unground portions with a spoon down toward the blade as you go.) Set aside.

  2. Rinse the chicken under cold running water and pat it dry with paper towels. If using a whole chicken, for authenticity cut it into 16 pieces. If using precut chicken parts, you can leave them whole. Set aside.

  3. Heat the oil in a 3- or 4-quart saucepan, Dutch oven, or soup pot over medium-low heat. Test to see if the oil is the right temperature by adding a pinch of the ground paste. The paste should sizzle slightly around the edges, not fry aggressively or sit motionless. When the oil is the correct temperature, add all the ground flavoring paste and sauté, stirring every 10 seconds or so to prevent sticking and burning, until the paste begins to separate from the oil and the smell of raw garlic and shallots has dissipated, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the cinnamon, tied lemongrass, lime leaves, and daun salam leaves (if using) and stir to combine them with the flavoring paste. Continue sautéing until you can clearly smell the fragrance of cinnamon, about 1 minute.

  4. Add the chicken and raise the heat to medium. Sauté the chicken in the flavoring paste, moving it around often with a large spoon or spatula to prevent sticking or scorching. Turn each piece so that it sauts in the oil, until they are evenly golden brown, about 10 minutes.

  5. Add 1 cup of the unsweetened coconut milk, the water, and the salt to the chicken. Stir well to combine, blending the flavoring paste with the liquids and scraping from the bottom of the pot to bring up all the bits of flavor stuck to the surface, and bring to a low, steady simmer. Let the coconut milk simmer, stirring occasionally, until the fats from the chicken and coconut milk have risen to the surface and the chicken is tender and cooked through, but not falling apart from the bone, 40 to 50 minutes. You may need to lower and raise the heat occasionally if the simmer becomes too aggressive. Be careful to not allow the liquid to boil; the chicken will likely toughen and the coconut milk curdle. Taste for salt, and add more if necessary.

  6. Add the additional 1 cup coconut milk and allow it to heat through and begin to take in the flavors of the curry, about 2 minutes. This additional coconut milk enriches this rich dish even more. If there is too much oil floating on the surface of the curry for your taste, feel free to skim some of it off, but by all means not all of it — it's intensely flavorful. Taste for salt once more.

  7. Transfer the chicken and sauce to a low serving bowl; you may remove the cinnamon, tied lemongrass, and kaffir lime and daun salam leaves, if you like, or leave them in the bowl to continue to season the dish. Allow the dish to rest and cool at room temperature for at least 20 minutes before eating, which will give the flavors time to blend and intensify.

How to make Opor Ayam Recipe Video:


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