I really don’t know how it was started but if you take away chili peppers from my life… I’m gone! I’m seriously gone! I cannot live without chili peppers. There is always some kind of chili to go with our meals every single day. Both my husband and I literally can’t eat without chili lol. We love spicy food. I remember there’s one time when we went to eat out and we thought “okay…let’s tone down a little bit and ordered something not too spicy” So we did and both of us felt like we were left hanging!! something was missing and the hollow feeling left inside of us! I know I said it in a exaggerated way probably, but that’s really how we feel each time we are deprived of chili.
This ayam rica rica is our absolute favorite (no surprise there huh?). It’s spicy and it’s highly addicting. The problem about me and eating spicy food is that I need a HUGE bowl of rice to go with it. To polish off the spicy sauce. The spicier it is, the more I eat despite of the numbing tongue (and sweat sliding down the forehead and the sides of my husband’s face). Sounded like some sort of torment we went through, but trust me, it’s the kind of torture I like ha..ha..!
Ayam rica rica is originally from the city of Manado in Sulawesi Island in Indonesia. Ayam = Chicken and Rica is chili. It is known for its spicyness !! Because my kids usually also eat whatever we eat, so I actually did not put the red chili in the spices. I added it after the dish was done cooking and I took out the portion for my kids (which is not spicy) and then added in the chili paste and let it cook for another 5 minutes.
If you are not into spicy food, you can still definitely enjoy this dish without it. I love the sourness and the fragrance from lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves. It’s addicting !! It’s an easy one-pot meal in our house that I made pretty often.
Ayam rica rica (4 servings)
- 1 lb of boneless chicken thighs or about 2 lbs of boned-in drumsticks or thighs
- 2 Tbsp of cooking oil
- 1 large stalk of lemon grass trim off the woody ends and cut into 3-4 inch pieces and bruise with heavy object to release flavor
- 5 Kaffir lime leaves
- 1 cup of chicken stock
- 1 Roma tomato quartered
- Juice of 1 lime
- Salt to taste
- 6 candlenuts - If you can't find it you may skip or use macadamia nuts kemiri
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 6 shallots peeled
- 10-15 red bird's eye chilis the amount is up to you or you can skip it
Place all the ingredients for ground spices in food processor and process into a paste
Preheat a large skillet or wok with cooking oil. Add in the ground spices, lemon grass, and kaffir lime leaves. Stir fry for about 5 minutes. It should be aromatic. Add in the chicken and cook for about 5 minutes. Add in 1 cup of chicken stock. Bring it to a boil and then lower the heat to let it simmer until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink. Once the chicken is cooked through, add in the tomato slices and let it cook for about 5 minutes. Have a taste and season with salt to your taste. Squeeze in the juice of one lime and stir to mix everything
Serve immediately with plenty of white rice 😉 because you gonna need it to eat that with the sauce