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Comfort food at its best

As much as I like to cook dessert and other non-asian food, I very much treasure my home country’s (read: Indonesia) food above of all.  So whenever, I go back home, I would have a list of local food that I have to eat during my visit. And trust me, the list gets longer and longer.

So why don’t I just cook Indonesian food? Well, Indonesian food requires lots and lots of herbs. The ones that you can’t find in your local supermarket. Whenever I want to cook my favorite Indonesian food, I would have to check whether I could get the ingredients in the nearest supermarket. If not, I would have to go to Geylang Serai Market (local wet market) to get all of the ingredients. In short, it is troublesome to cook it,  not to mention the very long cooking process… that’s the reason why..

One of my favorite Indonesian food is the local ‘ Bubur Ayam Cirebon ‘ – in english: ‘Chicken Porridge from Cirebon town’. The food consists of a plain rice porridge, yellow coconut sauce, shredded fried chicken, and some chicken skin or chicken gizzard/liver satay. It also comes with some additional toppings like scallion, chilli, cracker, crispy fried shallot, and you-tiao (chinese dough fritters). See? A lot of things going on for just 1 dish…
Anyways, I’ve been craving for it for quite sometime, so I decided to make it for dinner (normally in Indonesia we eat it for breakfast – but who cares? We are not in Indonesia). The result? Well, it is still not as good as the ones that they sell in the street of Jakarta, but hey, the cameraman said it is 90% close to it. He said my version is too clean, too hygienic, that’s why it is not as good. Well at least this will satisfy my craving for the moment 🙂 .. I salute you ‘Tukang Bubur Ayam’! (in english: ‘Indonesian Chicken Porridge Man’)

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Recipe source – my old blog: dgeekdcook

Things you need:

For the chicken and the yellow sauce

    • 1/2 half free range chicken
    • 2 pack of chicken gizzard/liver (I think 1 pack is about 150 gram)
    • 1 block of chicken stock (if you have a real chicken stock – that would be the best)
    • 1 lemon grass stalk
    • 4 pieces of kaffir lime leaves/calamansi leaves
    • 150 ml Coconut milk
    • Vegetable oil
    • Water
    • Spring onion (finely chopped)
    • Fried shallots
    • Desiccated coconut

Put the following items into a food processor and grind them into paste (or you can use mortar and pestle to do it):

  • 10 pieces of shallots
  • 9 cloves of garlic
  • 8 pieces of candle nuts
  • ½ tbs of coriander powder
  • ¼ tsp of cumin powder
  • 3 tsp of turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of sugar

For the porridge:

    • 150 gram  of  rice -> wash clean
    • 600 liter of water
    • Garlic powder
    • Salt and pepper

Things you need to do:

For chicken porridge. Cook the rice with water; salt; garlic powder and pepper in a low heat till it becomes porridge. Put aside.

For the toppings and the soup/sauce. Wash the chicken and the chicken gizzard. Cut the chicken into smaller pieces (if needed).

Stir fry the paste, calamansi leaves and the lemon grass with some vegetable oil until fragrant (the paste should be a bit brownish in color). Add the chicken and the gizzard, cook the chicken with the paste for a little while. Pour some water to cover the chicken. Add in the chicken stock/chicken block, and ensure the chicken block is fully dissolved into the water. Then cook them for about an hour and half in a low heat. Stir them occasionally, add in some more water to keep the chicken submerge under the stock.

Once the chicken and gizzard are fully cooked (you should be seeing the chicken become yellow-ish by then), remove the chicken and gizzard out from the stock.  Reserve the stock in the pan (this is for the soup/sauce).

Add in 150 ml of coconut milk into the stock and cook the stock in a low heat. Keep stirring the stock, put in the desiccated coconut, mix well and reduce. Once the stock is slightly thicker, remove from the heat. You are expecting a runny (not a thick) yet tasty curry-like kind of soup. You can add in some water or coconut milk to adjust the thickness of the soup.  Once this is done, put the soup aside.

Back to the chicken, remove the skin from the chicken. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan to fry the chicken. Cook the chicken until golden and crispy. Put aside the chicken on paper towel, and let them cool. Once they are cool enough, shred the chicken meat for the porridge topping.

Note: As for me – I’m a lazy bum, I didn’t fry the chicken, I put the chicken in the oven – broiling mode to make it crispy and drier.

While for the gizzard and the chicken skin, cut them into small pieces, and stick it into a bamboo stick (make them into satay). You can either fry them lightly or serve them as it is. As for me, I put the gizzard sticks into the oven broiler (together with the chicken) for about 10 – 15 mins (wrapped in aluminum foil to avoid burn) to dry them. Once cooked, set aside.

For the chili. You can buy from outside or make it your own by grinding chili padi, shallots and garlic roughly. Once you got a rough chilli paste, mix it with a bit of the chicken soup and cook it over a low heat for a little while (this will cook the chilli and infuse the taste of the soup into the chili). Remove from heat and serve it with the porridge.

Putting it all together. Pour a little bit of the soup into a bowl, put the porridge in, and then pour in some more of the soup on top. Sprinkle the shredded chicken for topping. Garnish the porridge with some spring onions, fried shallots, sweet soy sauce, you-tiao and Indonesian cracker. Serve the porridge with the chicken gizzard and chili.

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Happy munching

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