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Ambila Chicken

December 7, 2006
ambila chicken image

Make seasoning paste:

Wearing rubber gloves, seed and devein jalapeņos and about half of cherry peppers or red chilies for a moderately hot dish. Trim root ends and tough tops of lemongrass, discarding dry outer leaves, and slice thin. Cut gingerroot into 4 pieces.

To a food processor with motor running add jalapeņos, cherry peppers or red chilies, lemongrass, gingerroot, and remaining seasoning paste ingredients, 1 at a time through feed tube, and puree to a paste.

Trim beans and cut into 2-inch pieces. Heat a 6-quart heavy kettle over moderately low heat until hot. Add oil and heat until hot but not smoking. Cook seasoning paste, stirring frequently, until dry and very fragrant, about 25 minutes. Add chicken and cook over moderate heat, stirring, 10 minutes. Add water and simmer chicken, covered, stirring occasionally, 25 minutes, or until almost cooked through. Skim any fat from surface.

Stir in beans and simmer, covered, until beans are almost tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, soy sauce, sugar, and salt and simmer, covered, 5 minutes, or until beans are tender.

(Braised Chicken with Chilies and Chinese Long Beans)

Notes: The intoxicating seasoning paste in this Eurasian stew may be used to flavor chicken, beef, lamb, or seafood.

Serve braised chicken with rice.

Ingredients:
FOR SEASONING PASTE
2 fresh jalapeņo chilies
15 fresh hot red cherry peppers (or eight 4-inch-long fresh red chilies)
2 large stal fresh lemongrass (or 4 short)
1 piece fresh gingerroot (peeled (1"))
3/4 pound small shallots (halved)
6 garlic cloves
3 candlenuts (or 5 macadamia nuts)
1/2 teaspoon dried shrimp paste
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 pound chinese long beans (or green beans)
1/3 cup corn oil (or safflower oil)
3 pounds chicken (cut into 16 serving pieces (3 to 4))
1 1/2 cups water
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
Steamed rice (accompaniment)