A whole chicken, pale-cooked for presentation; a ritual dish. The coconut broth is barely tinged with turmeric, to the faintest of yellow; necessary, because it would otherwise have a slight greyish hue. Traditional. A dish to calm the spirits of heads taken in war.
Originally published here:
One whole chicken.
Two to three each: bruised stalks of lemongras, whole shallots, whole green chilies, thick slices of ginger.
One Tsp each: salt, sugar.
Half Tsp each: white peppercorns, coriander seeds.
Quarter to half Tsp turmeric.
Generous pinches tamo kuntji, langkwang.
Two whole cloves, a bay leaf, and a piece of dried orange peel.
Eight cups water.
Four cups coconut milk.
Quarter cup white liquor (either Dutch gin, or Vodka).
A jigger of vinegar.
Bring all save chicken to a boil, simmer for five to ten minutes. Inundate the bird and bring the pot back to boil. Turn off heat. Weigh the bird down - a large ceramic bowl partially filled with water will do so nicely. Do not use a metal object as it will affect taste and appearance. Let the pot sit for an hour. Then remove the chicken to a broad basin.
With a slotted spoon remove all solids from the broth. Bring the broth back to a roiling boil and pour slowly over the chicken, making sure all of it is touched by the hot liquid. Drain chicken, reserve broth to a pot and bring back to boiling, then simmer for ten minutes.
Serve the chicken and broth separately; chicken cool, broth hot.
Eat with compressed rice, chili and fishpaste strifried longbeans, and ripped vegetables.
Lemongrass: Sere or Sae - a stalkgras with a pleasing lemon-like aroma used in South-East Asian cooking. Tamo kuntji: Kaempferia Pandurata (Boesenbergia Rotunda) - a root related to ginger and galangal, with minor antibacterial and anticancerous qualities. It has a perfumy bitter taste. In the west it can be found in Thai, Indonesian, and some Chinese stores - temo kunci (Indonesian), krachai (Thai), fingerroot, Chinese Keys (Singaporean English), 凹脣姜 (Cantonese: au-syun-keung). Langkwang: galangal (Kampferia Galanga, Alpinia Galanga), also called red ginger or dwarf ginger. Called Kha in Thai, Laos in Malay. Dried orange peel: dry your own, or purchase chan-pei (陳皮) in Chinatown, even though it comes from a different citrus (Citrus Aurantium). Dutch gin: not the same as the aftershave lotion favoured in the English speaking world, this is more like kummel - except it is flavoured with juniper berries, not caraway. The Oude Genever is a pot still product, and will take your legs out from under you if drunk to excess. The Jonge Genever is made in a patent still, and is much smoother, though still likely to commit treason on your judgment. Oude Genever is the favoured style of import-plonk in areas up from the coast. Longbeans: also called yard long beans, these are much preferred over haricots.
NOTE: The chili paste and fish paste are on the stir-fried vegetables, because they are NOT in the broth or on the chicken. The chicken is mild flavoured, to correlate to a head taken after downing the victim. Arabs are cowards and barbarians because they take prisoners, then behead their captives alive. Such a head concentrates fear and is useless. Gut-stab to kill, then cut to harvest the head; such is the only proper way.