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Spicy Laska “Fried” Chicken with Mint Sauce

August 23, 2010

The picture of this recipe on Almost Bourdin is what won me over (obviously my pic probably won’t win you over…I

spicy laksa baked chicken

 was too eager to eat!).  The chicken looked so crispy and juicy, and I loved the idea of using coconut in it.  Plus, I  knew the spice paste would give great flavor.  I don’t do much frying, but I figured panko crumbs would provide a crispy substitute for the frying, and it worked great.  I didn’t think it lacked a thing.  This recipe looks like a lot of trouble, but it’s really not.  Marinate the chicken one night, then all you need to do is bake it and make the mint sauce the next day, which is quick.  Don’t skip the mint sauce…it added great flavor to the chicken.  This recipe doesn’t make a lot of the sauce, but did make just enough, so double the recipe if you think the amount looks skimpy.  I served this with an Indian style okra dish and some field peas for a take on a Southern fried chicken dinner.  This recipe serves 4-6, depending on how much chicken you like.

Ingredients

For the chicken:

3-4 lb whole chicken rinsed, patted dry, cut into 2 thighs, 2 drum sticks, 2 wings and cut the breasts in half 

2 T corn starch

2 T all-purpose flour

1 c desiccated coconut (this is the finely ground, unsweetened coconut)

1- 1 1/2 c  panko crumbs

1 t salt

For the Laksa Curry Paste:
2 dried long red chilis, seeded

2 T dried shrimp

2 Thai chilis, seeded

1 T fish sauce

1 onion, roughly chopped (or you can use 2 shallots)

5 macadamia nuts (I used almonds)

2 cloves garlic

2 t finely grated ginger

2 stalks lemongrass, white part only, roughly chopped

1 t ground coriander

2 t ground turmeric

2 T vegetable or peanut oil

For the Mint Sauce:
1 T finely chopped mint or cilantro (I used both)

1/3 c rice vinegar

1 T sugar

2 T soy sauce

1 T fish sauce

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 Thai chili, seeded and finely chopped

Directions:

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.

Place chicken places and curry paste in a large Ziploc bag. Seal bag, then rub chicken with paste to coat. Refrigerate overnight to marinate.

 To make mint sauce, place all the ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake well to combine. Set aside until needed.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Remove chicken from bag, leaving a coating of paste on the chicken.  Combine the flours, coconut, panko and 1 tsp salt in a shallow bowl or a large palte.  Coat chicken thighs and legs in the coconut mixture, then place on a baking sheet with rimmed sides.   Bake for 30-35 minutes, until juices run clear and chicken is baked through.  Serve with mint sauce on the side.

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