I am a big fan of food magazines, and regularly buy one, curl up with a large glass of wine, and devour one. Until recently I had a heaving shelf of them, that I’d read cover to cover, but were gathering dust.
It can be hard to remember where you saw that recipe you really want to try, so before moving, I went through them all, tore out the recipes I wanted to keep, and put them in plastic sleeves into a ring binder. I made a start on dividing into catagories but I am inherently a bit lazy, so gave up for now.
This recipe comes from Delicious magazine, although I did change the number of chillis, used coconut milk instead of cream and added more than they stated.
I love Thai food, it’s aromatic flavours are wonderful, generally low fat, and incredibly good for you. A thai chicken soup is always my go to when I have a cold. Finding the Asian supermarket in Alicante was a very happy day for me.
This is slow steamed, and served with jasmine rice, and in this case, steamed brocolli, although mangetout, sugar snap peas, baby corn or some stir fried bak choi would go really well I’m sure. I’ve not sprinkled red chilli on to serve as suggested in the magazine, but a little fresh coriander instead, I like a bit of heat, but neither myself or my Other Half can take too much!
I’m giving the magazine’s quantities, with my adaptions in brackets. And I felt very proud to be using the first chilli off my plant!
2 green chillis, deseeded (I used 1 green birdseye)
2 garlic cloves
Juice of 1 lime
1 heaped tablespoon chopped kaffir lime leaves, or zest of 1 lime, ( I may have used closer to 2 tbsp of lime leaves, love them and really like a lime hit, if you’re the same add the zest of another lime or more leaves too)
Handful of fresh coriander, with stalks, a few leaves reserved to garnish
1 tablespoon cumin seeds, dry roasted
3 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
4 tablespoons coconut cream(I used lower fat coconut milk and an extra spoonful as my sauce was a bit hot)
Red chilli to garnish, if you like heat!
4 banana leaves, (if you can find them, if not don’t worry)
4 x 250g free-range chicken legs.
Get the best quality you can, British Freedom Food(Co-op’s chickens all reach this standard) which are given room to roam and natural light is a good step up if you can’t afford free range, most supermarkets now stock an inbetween – from battery(grim) to free range. But free range legs are normally a bit cheaper per kilo than a whole bird in the UK. My legs were smaller, but when you can get 3 small chickens (not battery) from your local butcher for 5 euros who’s going to complain! I buy whole birds, and joint them myself, for this I have the legs for this recipe, 4 chicken breasts for something else, and 2 carcasses for stock to make soup, with 1 bird left. Told you I was frugal!
Set up your steamer / large pan with steamer insert. Get the water to a boil, then down to a simmer for the actual cooking.
OK, so into a little food processor,(if you don’t have one, chop up fine and use a pestle and mortar, or if not that a mixing bowl and the end of a rolling pin will do) wizz up the chilli, garlic, lime juice, lime leaves or zest, coriander, cumin, fish paste and coconut cream/milk to a paste. If doing it by hand, mash up the hard ingredients then stir in the liquids.
I like to have quite a lot of sauce, so although it said this was for 4 legs, I used the same quantities for 3 small legs(the children had binged during the day so only wanted a little bit). Have a little taste of the sauce to check it’s how you like it(mine was a touch too spicy so I added a bit more coconut milk).
Cut up sheets of baking paper for each leg about 30cm x 40cm, if you didn’t find banana leaves then double layer the paper).
Rub/spoon the sauce over each leg, making sure they’re well covered, place each onto a sheet of paper,
Into the steamer for two and a half hours, or until the meat is tender. Keep checking and topping up the water level, roughly every half an hour should be ok. Remove the parcels and let rest for five minutes or so.
Serve the parcels on the plate (or not, your choice, looks lovely if you found the banana leaves, but make sure you dish up the lovely juices!) with steamed / boiled jasmine rice and your vegetable of choice. Steamed jasmine rice isn’t actually steamed so much as brought up to the boil with a lid on, then brought down to a very low simmer for five to ten minutes, then keep the lid on for another ten minutes until it’s needed. Take a fork to it to fluff up the grains. And rinse the rice well before starting.
Food Facts from Delicious, per serving (if you follow theirs, I think using coconut milk as I did would lower the fat at least)
264 kcals, 9.7g fat (1.6g saturated), 44.1g protein, 1.9g carbs, 1.1g sugar, 2.6g salt