Indonesian-style Chicken Casserole
Today I am preparing a chicken casserole base for an Indonesian-style Chicken Casserole I'll be cooking on Saturday. I always prepare my chicken base at least two days ahead and then freeze the uncooked base down so that it is ready for cooking on the day.
I use six chicken thigh fillets. I remove all excess fat and sinew first and discard but be generous and allow for some chicken meat to be attached to the trimmings and reserve this chicken meat (I will use this later to make a chicken laksa soup.)
I then cut the chicken fillets up into mouth-sized pieces and place those in a stainless steel preparation bowl.
I add a good splash of extra virgin olive oil – about one and a half tablespoons – enough to give all the chicken a good coating of oil.
Slice and chop half a red capsicum, 4 medium size shallot onions (the slender ones, white base with a long green top) and add this into the chicken mix.
Next I add a good shake of freshly ground black peppercorn, a good shake of chilli flakes and a teaspoon of finely chopped fresh coriander.
Using a plastic kitchen spoon stir all the ingredients in the bowl to ensure that they are well mixed. Empty the contents into a resealable freezer bag, flatten and store in the freezer until required.
Now, for the actual Indonesian-style Chicken Casserole you will need:
Your prepared chicken mix, defrosted and ready to cook
I packet Dutch curry and rice soup – (I use Continental brand , but any brand will do!)
¼ of tomato sauce/ketchup
1 Apple cored and sliced
2 cups of water
2 onions thinly sliced
¼ cup of unsalted cashew nuts (optional)
Brown the chicken, and add onions and cook on a medium heat until the onions are softened. Add water, tomato sauce/ketchup, soup mix and apple. Stir lightly to mix ingredients together, cover and simmer gently for 1 hour.
Serve sprinkled with cashew nuts, if desired, and a side serve of steamed green beans and bok choy leaves.
Chicken Laksa Soup
Oh! That’s right, I told you to reserve the chicken trimmings for a Chicken Laksa, didn’t I? OK! Place chicken meat trimmings in a colander or strainer and pour boiling water over them. Shake off excess water and repeat two more times – set aside. I do this to remove most traces of any chicken fat that may have remained attached.
In a pot bring 1 litre of salted water (to taste) to the boil. Add half a chopped red capsicum, 3 medium chopped shallot onions, two fresh baby corn stalks finely sliced, a dash of chilli flakes and freshly ground black pepper, a chicken stock cube (dissolve this in a little hot water) and a teaspoon of good India curry powder. Allow to reach the boil and then drop back to a simmer. Add your chicken trimmings and simmer for 45 minutes.
Add 200gm of rice noodles and allow these to soften.
Place some loosely torn bok choy leaves and a handful of bean sprouts in a colander and pour boiling water over these to blanch them. Drain and add to your soup, stir in lightly then allow them to sit in the hot soup mix for a minute.
Serve while steaming hot!