I have to say that it is ashame that Indonesian culinary is not as well-known to the world compare to its neighboring countries like Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, and Thailand. I have many American friends who are very familiar with Thai and Vietnamese food but they have little clue about Indonesian food. Needless to say, I haven’t found one Indonesian restaurant (one that truly devoted to Indonesian food) here in Minnesota 🙁
I strongly believe though if people are more educated about Indonesian culinary, they probably will enjoy Indonesian food. Indonesian food is well-known for using lots of aromatic spices and herbs like turmeric, galangal, coriander seeds, star anise, bay leaves, kaffir lime leaves, candlenuts…just to name a few. Which makes the cooking ever so special. I remember my mom used to grind up all the spices and herbs ahead of time and freeze them into smaller portions. So, when recipes call for any of the spices and herbs, she can just get what she needed. It really saved her lots of time. She was a full-time SAHM to three kids and I only have two kids and I know how hectic my life has been with just these two around. That also makes it easier for me when I want to cook Indonesian food. Because honestly, thinking about grinding all the spices at the time I need to get the cooking done, discourage me from cooking Indonesian food. It takes too much of my time.
So, let me introduced you to this very popular Indonesian food. I wasn’t even sure how to name it properly in English and this was the best I could come up with..twice-cooked chicken with spiced crunch or famously known as ayam goreng kremes. Ayam goreng means friend chicken in Indonesian. Kremes means crunch. The chicken is cooked twiced, first boiled with the aromatic spices and then deep-fried. The spiced crunch is made from the chicken stock that is fused with the aromatic spices and rice flour. Brilliant ? yes!!! It was a little bit of work I have to admit. At least I have all the spices already grind up. But the whole family loved this dish. Seriously, who doesn’t like fried chicken ?? My two kids couldn’t have enough of the spiced crunch !!
Twice-cooked Chicken With Spiced Crunch / Ayam Goreng Kremes (4 servings)
- 1 1/2 lbs of skin-on bone-in chicken wings separate into wings and drumettes
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 6 bay leaves
- 1- inch knob of galangal
- Oil for deep frying
Spices to grind into paste:
- 10 cloves of garlic peeled
- 8 shallots peeled
- 7 candlenuts or substitute with macademia nuts if you must
- 1 Tbsp coriander seeds
- 4 Tbsp rice flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp of salt
Pat the chicken dry with absorbent paper towel. Rub the ground spices and salt into the chicken pieces and let them marinade for about 30 minutes. Transfer them into a large pot and pour in about 1 1/2 cups of water (this won't cover the chicken, it's okay). Add in the bay leaves and galangal. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat and cover the pot to let it gently simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot into a platter. Keep the chicken stock.
Preheat oil enough to deep fry the chicken. Deep fry until they are golden brown. Remove into an absorbent paper towel and transfer to serving platter. Repeat until you are done with the chicken. Remove the small bits in the oil and reheat the oil back up
While waiting for the oil to heat back up. Add in the rice flour, baking powder, and salt into the chicken stock above. Stir to mix. Add this mixture a bit by bit (about 1-2 Tbsp at a time) into the hot oil and let it fry until golden brown and crunchy. Remember to stir the mixture each time before you add into the hot oil. Sprinkle this spiced crunch on the chicken and serve immediately.