With its 31 days, December to me is the “shortest” month of the year. There are a million and one things to do, or rather, rush in the last month of the year. My checklist is endless…juggling between my office work and house work are the craziest challenges ever 😦
Probably the most difficult task is getting the right Christmas gift for that someone as it takes a lot of time and energy. Yes, no kidding here. I hope the recipients this year will un-wrap the packages with lots of “oohs” and “aahhs”.
Well, last Christmas, I received a rather special gift. It was an “oohh” alright 😉
It was a book – to be more precise – a lime green cookbook! The author is Leemei Tan. Her name sounded rather Malaysian or Singaporean. I was extremely curious and delved directly into the Introduction page of the cookbook.
The author IS a Malaysian. I had no clue that Leemei Tan had a blog: My Cooking Hut. I checked it out almost immediately the next morning. And there’s that lime green recipe book again: Lemongrass and Ginger: Vibrant Asian Recipes 😀
By the way, I had a Dutch translated version: Citroengras & Gember – heerlijke Aziatische recepten.
Page 95 looked extremely inviting! I was mesmeric!
I flipped through the pages several times over and I kept coming back to page 95. I was bewitched, so to speak. 😀
So, almost a year later (YES!), last weekend, I made this dish. Oops…I have been procrastinating again, haven’t I?!
According to the author, this is a superb, tasty and simple dish originated from the Baba-Nyonya. The Worcestershire sauce used in the dipping sauce is an example of the Colonial influences in the Malaysian cuisine.
Here’s my version of the Nyonya Chicken, which I baked, rather than fry them ;-). This makes a great side dish for Christmas Eve or Boxing Day, however, we had this as our main dish served with steamed white rice and stir-fried brussels sprouts and carrots.
Oh by the way, I have also made some minor changes to the recipe according to my personal taste. These are highlighted in blue italics.
- 1 kg drumsticks ( I bought a packet of 11 drumsticks weighing at 1.2 kg)
- 5 shallots (I used 4)
- 5 cloves garlic (this was not in the recipe)
- 1 Tbsp coriander powder (I used ½ Tbsp)
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 Tbsp corn flour
- 2 tsp honey (I used 1 Tbsp)
- 1 ¼ tsp coarse sea salt ( I used the Himalayan sea salt, to taste)
- 2 cm fresh ginger (I love ginger, hence, I used a bit more)
- Freshly milled black pepper
- 1 tsp chili powder (this was not in the recipe)
- 5 dl sunflower oil (I used a little drizzle of corn or vegetable oil for baking)
Dipping Sauce –
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 red chili (I used chili powder)
- Juice of 1 lime (I did not have lime in the my pantry, hence, I used lemon)
Please note the original recipe calls for frying the drumsticks. I baked mine. Below are points I have adapted using the original recipe with some changes to accommodate the baking method.
- Blend the shallots, garlic and ginger to a smooth paste. Spoon the paste into a large bowl. Add the powders – coriander, cumin, turmeric, chili, the egg yolk, corn flour, honey, freshly milled black pepper and coarse sea salt. Mix and combine the mixture. Coat the drumsticks with the mixed paste. Cover with a cling film and marinate the drumsticks for at least 4 hours or better still, overnight in the refrigerator.
- Pre-heat the oven to 220°C
- Remove the drumsticks from the fridge and let the marinated meat stand for at least 15 – 30 minutes at room temperature.
- Lay the marinated meat in a single layer in a large shallow roasting pan. Bake for 20 to 25 mins until they are tender and clear fluid appears when pierced with a skewer into the thickest part of the meat.
- Serve immediately with steamed white rice and drizzle some of the dipping sauce. Simply divine!
A picture is worth a thousand words…
This dish may not be a typical one served at Christmas Eve dinner or Christmas lunch – but hey – don’t we normally associate Christmas with baked or roasted birds or poultry with the amalgamation of herbs and spices?
This dish is as Christmas as it can be 😉
I am linking this special Christmas edition to the following events –
The December Cooking with Herbs Challenge…AND Christmas Spices! hosted by Karen Burns-Booth of Lavender and Lovage
Have a wonderful Christmas!