(My version of Ayam Suwir. Origin: Bali)
Another big hit at home: tender, juicy, flavorful shredded chicken, covered in a mixture of cooked chili peppers. There’s heat, spices, but also a hint of sweetness from the cooked peppers, shallots, and garlic. Very exciting for the palate, that’s for sure. I learned about this dish from a friend from Bali many years ago and have been a fan ever since.
Like many of you cooking enthusiasts out there, I adjust recipes to suit my taste preference. Here’s a version that I am very pleased with, for now ;).
Note: Some prefer to boil the chicken with spices until it is cooked, then shred, and mix it with the blended and cooked chili peppers mixture. I, however, find that when boiled, the chicken gets to be a bit too dry. So what I do is I marinate the chicken overnight or half a day, roast it in the oven, shred, and mix with the peppers.
For the roast chicken:
- 5-6 chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on (chicken breast would work too)
- 4 shallots
- 4 garlic
- 3 keffir lime leaves (could be substituted with lime zest from 2 limes)
- 1 lemon grass (could be substituted with lemon zest from 1 lemon)
- 1 inch of galanga root
- 2 teaspoons of coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon of ginger powder
For the chili pepper mixture:
- 1 red bell pepper
- 4 Thai peppers (also called Bird’s eye chili). Please adjust to your spicy-tolerance level.
- 3 shallots
- 3 garlic
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable or canola oil
Steps in preparing the chicken:
- Fill up 1/3 of a medium/large pot with water
- Chop in a food processor: shallots, garlic, and keffir lime leaves. Add them into the pot of water along with lemon grass, galanga root, coriander, turmeric, ginger powder, and salt to create the marinade for the chicken.
- Bring the marinade liquid to a boil and remove from the heat.
- Add the chicken into the marinade liquid, cover with a lid, and let it cool down before moving it to the fridge (marinate for half a day or overnight).
After the marinating is done, place the chicken on an oven tray, heat up the oven to 400 degree F, and roast it for 30-40 minutes (until it reaches 165 degrees F). Once the chicken is cooked, let it cool down, and shred it using a fork. Remove the bones.
While the chicken is roasting, prepare the chili pepper mixture:
- Chop in food processor: bell pepper, Thai (Bird’s eye) peppers, shallots, and garlic.
- Heat up a medium pan and add vegetable oil (over medium heat)
- Add the pepper, shallot, and garlic mixture into the pan and let it cook for 6-8 minutes or until the moisture evaporates.
- Remove from the heat.
- Add and mix the shredded chicken
Serve with jasmine rice and a side of stir-fried cabbage with green onions. Why cabbage? I think cabbage is naturally sweet therefore a great neutralizer for my spicy chicken. I chop up 1-2 garlic, 2 green onions, ½ of cabbage. I cook the garlic and green onions with a little bit of vegetable oil and add the chopped cabbage. I add a little bit of water to help the cabbage cook faster, sprinkle a little bit of salt, cover the pan with a lid, and let it cook for 5 minutes or until the vegetable wilt. Remove excess water before serving. (Optional: scrambled eggs make a nice addition to the cabbage dish too.)
Hope you like it!
Have a great week, everyone. Thanks for reading.