Braised Chicken in Coconut Milk
(Opor Ayam)

  • One whole 3-pound chicken
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • cup thin-sliced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced thin
  • teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 kemiri nuts, crushed
  • 1 slice ginger-about 1 teaspoon
  • teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon peanut or corn oil
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind, dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 piece of laos
  • 1 piece of jeruk purut, or 1 square inch of lemon peel
  • Cut the chicken into eight pieces, discard the loose skin and fat and rub the pieces with the lemon juice. Broil for five minutes, turn the pieces over and broil for five minutes more. The chicken will be partially cooked and firm.
  • In a blender, prepare a smooth sauce of the onion, garlic, turmeric, coriander, cumin, kemiri nuts, ginger, pepper and cup of the coconut milk.
  • Heat the oil in a saucepan or wok, and pour the sauce. Stir fry for two minutes; then add the balance of the coconut milk, the tamarind liquid, salt, sugar, salam, laos and jeruk purut (lemon peel). Add the pieces of precooked chicken, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook for five minutes, basting frequently; then continue to cook for twenty minutes more. The liquid will have reduced to a rather thick sauce, and the chicken will be tender but still firm.

Makes 6 servings, with other dishes.

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