Smoked Chicken, Wild Mushrooms, Sweet Basil, Coconut & Galangal Soup

Poached chicken, coconut & galingal soup (photo by Kaleem Hyder)

Photo from Farang by Kaleem Hyder

I have just spent the weekend in sunny Birmingham at the BBC Good Food Show cooking with the Thai Embassy on the Thai World Stage to help promote Thai produce and cuisine. I’ve never been to Birmingham before, although I have to say it felt like more like Kingston, Jamaica at 34 degrees- it’s been an absolute scorcher!

The show was a good crack actually, apart from it taking place at the NEC in Birmingham which has to be one of the most boring places on the planet- it reminded me of the film ‘The Truman Show’, where you feel you will walk through a door and hit a cardboard cut out of another door if you’re not careful. All the same the show was great and I’ve come back excited to get another recipe up on ‘Articuleat‘.

In this heat I wanted to cook something quick, effortless, light and tasty as fuck so I went for this soup. This soup can be made in many different variations, a few of which can be found in my book ‘Cook Thai‘ if you ever feel like giving them a go. It only takes a few bits and pieces and around 10-15 minutes to make and all of the ingredients can be found easily in most supermarkets these days. If you’re feeling really exotic throw in some king prawns to this soup too- awesome!

Ingredients Serves 2 / Vegetarian option

1 chicken breast, skin and fat removed, sliced into rough 2cm by 2cm pieces, directions for smoking in recipe  (do not use if vegetarian, ha)

1/4 butternut squash, roughly 50g, peeled and sliced into rough 2cm by 2 cm pieces (pumpkin can be used instead)

8 Thai Shallots, peeled and slightly bruised in a pestle

2 green birds eye chillies, bruised in a pestle

2 kaffir lime leaves, torn slightly

2 sticks lemongrass, chopped into 2 cm long pieces and bruised in a pestle

10g, galangal, peeled and chopped into 2 cm long pieces and bruised in a pestle

2 coriander roots, cleaned, washed and bruised in a pestle

½ teaspoon coarse sea salt

2-3 tablespoons fish sauce (soy sauce if vegetarian)

200ml chicken stock (vegetable stock if vegetarian)

300ml coconut cream

10g, Thai sweet basil (normal basil will do)

50g, assorted wild mushrooms (I use enoki, shittaki and emoji mushrooms)

1 lime, juiced

Method

Before I get started with the recipe I’ll delve a little into explaining how to smoke the chicken. In this recipe I cold smoke my chicken which can be done very easily when you’re at home. This means that I will be adding the smoke flavour from the wood to the meat, without cooking it. All you need is some smoking wood chips, a pan, a colander and some cling film. Place a small handful of wood chips into the pan and heat the pan up until the wood chips set alight within the pan. Once this happens put the flames out with a little water, this will cause the chips to smoke heavily. at this stage place the chicken in the colander and then put the colander upon the smoking pan, then quickly cling film the whole thing so it is air tight with no smoke leaving the cling film. This will leave the chicken inside a smoke vacuum, with minimal oxygen so the wood chips will not be hot but will smoke a lot. If this is left untouched for 20 minutes the smokey flavour would have penetrated the meat, the longer you leave it the smokier the flavour.

Firstly, in a small sauce pan bring a little water to the boil and then submerge the squash into it, then turn down to a simmer, continue to gently cook for around 3-4 minutes until soft but not quite cooked and then remove from the heat and put aside for a few minutes (at this stage you might as well leave it in the hot water as we are to use it straight away).

Next place the chicken stock, 100ml of the coconut cream, 2 tablespoons fish sauce, sea salt, galangal, coriander roots, birds eye chillies, lemongrass, lime leaves, butternut squash and Thai shallots and mushrooms into a medium sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Once simmering add the chicken pieces and continue to cook gently for 4-5 minutes until all chicken is cooked and all vegetables have softened with flavours infused.

Finish by adding the rest of the coconut cream and the sweet basil and the dishing out into bowls. Lastly check the seasoning, it should be creamy, salty, a little spicy, aromatic with a fresh hint of lime at the end, adjust if needs be.

Thanks very much for stopping by at ‘Articuleat’ and I hope you have enjoyed your stay. I always look forward to your feedback so please don’t hesitate to get in touch for any reason whatsoever – I will reply as swiftly as possible.

 

See you next time,

Eat Well,

Sebbyholmes

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Sticky & Rich Kecap Manis Barbeque Hunters Chicken with Herb Spiced Chestnut Mushrooms

Sticky & Rich Kecap Manis Barbeque Hunters Chicken with Herb Spiced Chestnut Mushrooms

Barbecue is one of the most commonly eaten sauces on the planet! This is in no way true but hopefully it got your attention. Since my childhood I have always had an insatiable thirst for barbecue sauce; so I figured it’s time for it’s debut appearance within Articuleat’ s early posts, so this one’s  for those of you that share my love for this fabulous condiment.

There are as many ways to make barbecue sauce as there are recipes to cook using it, however after much (and much, much more) experimentation this is my favourite so far. I found that lots of people use tomato ketchup as a base for there sauce to give it the correct flavour balance and consistency. However, here at Articuleat that just won’t do – I created this recipe using Indonesian sweet soy sauce (known as kecap manis) as the base for my sauce. Kecap manis can be found in any oriental supermarket and most large supermarkets.

For this recipe I have kept the barbeque sauce mild to not add any extra spice to the chestnut mushrooms. If you are into your heat however, do not be afraid to add a little chilli powder, or extra peppercorns to my recipe. The key to this sauce is in the balance; sweet, salty, sour and hot all play elements in making this sauce one to write home about.

The sticky and rich consistency is a perfect partner to some chestnut mushrooms lightly fried in herb oil. Despite this the BBQ season is upon us so why listen to me – why not marinate some meat in this sauce and throw it on the barbeque?

(serves 2, takes 1 hour)

Ingredients

(for the barbeque sauce)

-100ml, kecap manis, sweet soy (can be found in any oriental supermarket and most large supermarkets)

-20ml, balsamic vinegar

-20ml, Worcestershire sauce

-60ml, light chicken stock

-1tsp, cumin seeds

1tsp, pink peppercorns

-1tsp, Chinese five spice

-1tsp, fennel seeds

-2 heaped tbsp, palm sugar, crushed (soft brown sugar will do)

-1 white onion, finely chopped

-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed

-1 whole red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

(for the herb spiced mushrooms)

-2, whole chicken breasts, boneless

-100g, chestnut mushrooms, washed and sliced

-1 handful (roughly 70g), parsley, finely chopped

-100ml, olive oil

-1 whole red chilli, finely sliced

-1 garlic clove, finely chopped

Method

  1. Firstly pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees. Whilst that heats lets get the barbeque sauce ready – begin by toasting the pink peppercorns, cumin and fennel seeds together in a dry pan. Keep these moving in a hot pan until you see a little smoke, then remove from the hot pan and spice grind to one powder (or use a pestle and mortar).
  2. Next fry the garlic, onion and red chilli in a pan with a little oil until golden brown and crispy (not burned or it will taste bitter). Once ready add the kecap manis, light chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar and palm sugar (soft brown sugar) and bring to a simmer. Once simmering add the spice grinded dried spices along with the Chinese five spice and whisk to combine, simmer to infuse for 2-3 minutes then remove and cool. Finish the sauce by combining to one smooth mixture in a food processor (should be a dark, smooth, rich pourable consistency)
  3. Now that the magic is ready get the hunters chicken in the oven. Using tin foil, individually coat each chicken breast in barbeque sauce and wrap tightly within the foil (if you have time marinate the meat in the fridge for a few hours, or ideally overnight), then place on a tray and put on the top shelf of the oven for 20-25 minutes. Ensure that chicken is piping hot throughout before serving, to check poke the end of a spoon into the middle and leave for a few seconds, remove and place the spoon on your lip – if it hurts it’s ready (obviously be carful).
  4. Lastly let’s make the herb spiced mushrooms. Bring a little pan of water to the boil and drop in the chopped parsley for 20 seconds, remove and refresh under cold water. Dry using a tea towel then combine the oil, parsley, garlic and chilli in a food processor until mixture is combined (should be bright green). Once combined heat this herb oil on a medium heat until hot, then add the chestnut mushrooms making sure to coat all of them in the hot oil. Stir these regularly for 6-8 minutes until softened
    and cooked.
  5. Serve the hunters chicken upon the chestnut mushrooms and garnish with a little parsley if you’re looking to impress.

Sticky & Rich Kecap Manis Barbeque Hunters Chicken with Herb Spiced Chestnut MushroomsThanks very much for stopping by at Articuleat and I hope you have enjoyed your stay. I always look forward to your feedback so please don’t hesitate to get in touch for any reason whatsoever – I will reply as swiftly as possible.

See you next time,

Eat Well,

Sebbyholmes