- 3/4 whole chicken, cut into pieces
- 1 packet of Munik Bumbu Rendang
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 lemon grass
- 2 sprigs of leaves from a lime tree
- 12-14 shallots
- 8-10 cloves of garlic
- 1 can of coconut milk
Take 8-10 cloves of garlic and cut them in half. Roughly chop the shallots and place it in a food processor or blendor. Add the garlic. Add a little water to the food processor/blendor. Run the blendor until you have a semi-smooth consistency, or until all of the pieces are finely minced.
In a heated pan, add about 2 tablespoons of oil. Fry the garlic-shallot mixture for about 2-3 minutes. Take the Munik Bumbu Rendang packet and add it to the mixture. Fry the mixture for about another 2-3 minutes. Slowly, add in coconut milk to the mixture a few tablespoons at a time, while continuously stirring. Only use 1/2 of the can of coconut milk at this point. Keep mixing until the sauce thickens up.
When the sauce thickens up, add the bay leaves, lemon grass, and lime leaves to the mixture. Turn the heat down to medium and add the chicken to the mixture. Add about 2-3 tablespoons of coconut milk to the mixture and stir.
Once the sauce begins to thicken up a little, add another 2-3 tablespoons of coconut milk. Continue to repeat this process until the chicken is fully cooked. Be sure to flip the chicken every 10 minutes, and to scrap the bottom of the pan to avoid burning of the sauce. Once the chicken is fully cooked, and the sauce has thickened up, remove the chicken from heat. Plate to serve.
Yet another meal was requested by my parents. I woke up Thursday morning to find a number of ingredients prepared for me to cook. Our family has inherited a box full of different types of foods from my cousin, who is moving back to Indonesia for good. In that box we found a few packets of Munik brand sauces, which my mom did not want to go to waste.
I’ve tried the Rendang packet once when I was in the apartments, but the result was not very good. I honestly believe that things made completely from scratch, usually almost always taste better than things that are pre-made. I mentioned to my mom about my cooking fail and my experiences with this particular packet of sauce. It was then my mom taught me a semi-homemade recipe that could bring out the homemade flavors I was looking for.By adding a few more ingredients, it took the bland packet up another notch.
The directions on the back of the Munik box said to place the sauce packet in a wide open pan, add the meat and coconut oil and bring to a boil. Once the mixture is boiling, reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce has thickened. I followed these steps before, and used beef instead of chicken during my previous experience. Even though I followed these directions, the flavors still came out bland, the meat was not soft, and my stomach was sad from the fail.
Normally you would find beef rendang dishes. We didn’t have beef in the house, so we substituted it with chicken. It was still really good, but if you truly want to appreciate the spices that goes into rendang, you will need to use beef. However, I’m sure Justin would appreciate this substitution, considering he doesn’t eat beef.
Anyway, my mom’s suggestion to add the coconut milk slowly throughout the process was definitely a good tip. If you’re looking for a fast dish, this is not one of them. You need to put in a lot of love, patience, and labor into this dish to make it good. Well, when I say labor, I guess some people may think, adding the coconut milk slowly over time requires too much of their time span, but believe me! It is definitely worth it.
I hope you like this dish, and have the opportunity to try the beef version.