James' authentically Thai chicken

 |   |  1 min read

James' authentically Thai chicken

James Lantana -- more correctly Somsak Lantana -- once my Thai neighbour, was a chef back home, came to New Zealand almost 20 years ago with his beautiful Japanese wife Nana, and has worked in kitchens all around Auckland.

It has been one of the great delights of my life to invite James, Nana and their terrifyingly intelligent, talented, multi-lingual daughter Sakuna over for dinner -- because James (who is an elegant poet and a fine photographer) always insists on not only cooking, but also bringing all the ingredients.

He has generously provided Recipes From Elsewhere with two of his fine dishes, this being a particular favourite (although the fish is also something else).

It serves the four of us, and if we weren't wolfing it down there would be leftovers for the following day.

INGREDIENTS

one large chicken

2 carrots

2-3 tomatoes

an onion

light cooking oil

white vinegar

oyster sauce

soy sauce

fish sauce

chicken stock

sugar

a fresh chilli

coriander

curry powder

sugar

spring onion

METHOD

Pre-heat the oven to 180 cut open and butterfly the chicken, and place it halfway down the oven on a grilling tray (with a tray beneath to catch excess fat).

Cook for 30-40 minutes depending on size until skin is slightly brown, then turn over for around 10 minutes.

Sauce for chicken: into a large bowl dice two carrots, the tomatoes and the onion. Heat a little oil in a wok or large pan, add the carrots etc and cook until slightly soft. Add one cup of water, bring to boil.

Then add: 3 tablespoons of vinegar, one tablespoon oyster sauce, one tablespoon of soy sauce,  1/2 tablespoon fish sauce, teaspoon of chicken stock, two tablespoons sugar and the sliced chilli. Stir and taste for saltiness and chilli (if you want more chilli then gently add from a half teaspoon of powdered chilli, which James calls the "magic ingredient")

If the taste is too chilli-hot bring it down by adding more oyster sauce or sugar. Keep on a rolling boil and add small amounts of fish sauce and vinegar to get the tangy taste.

Turn off and let cool slightly, then add half a handful of coriander and a chopped spring onion. Place the chicken on a large plate and spoon over the sauce.

Serve with rice (and some sticky rice allows you to soak up the divine juices).

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Recipes articles index

Beef stir-fry with peppers by Womad 2014 guest Abundance Mutori of Mokoomba

Beef stir-fry with peppers by Womad 2014 guest Abundance Mutori of Mokoomba

Bassist Abundance Mutori of the Zimbabwean band Mokoomba is bound to brew up a musical stew when the band play at Womad in March (dates below), but he's also happy to offer this, the recipe for a... > Read more

Wicked Chicken: soul funk for the barbecue

Wicked Chicken: soul funk for the barbecue

Many years ago Rhino Records -- a reissue label out of LA -- put out a booklet-cum-CD package of old soul and funk with an eating theme, specifically food for barbecues. Tracks on the CDs... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

The Gin Blossoms: Memphis in the meantime

The Gin Blossoms: Memphis in the meantime

Sometimes just getting to a gig can be a mission -- and I don't mean waiting for a cab to get you across town. My cab arrived exactly on time, it was the rest of it which was haywire. Just as... > Read more

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . .  HAYSEED DIXIE: The wacky world of hillbilly humour

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . HAYSEED DIXIE: The wacky world of hillbilly humour

The remote community of Deer Lick Holler in the Appalachians isn't on the way to anywhere, so there aren't many outside influences. It's where musicologists go to study authentic hillbilly music --... > Read more