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Home-Cooked: PerutBesi's Version of Mango Chicken

>> Tuesday, August 26, 2014

What inspires me to cook most of the time are people whom I love. My mum's off day is on Mondays, so as much as I could, I would want to spend Mondays cooking & eating at home with my family; home-cooked meals are the best after all!

We had quite a feast last night since I did some 'supermarket-sweep' last week. Chicken wasn't too expensive & so were the mangoes! It was totally random as I've never really bought mangoes for cooking, but I just thought of cooking mango chicken for the 1st time in my life from scratch!

I had NO clue how to cook mango chicken. Most of the time, the mango chicken that I had at restaurants were either deep-fried & have some gravy topped with fresh mangoes or those Thai-style green mangoes kerabu with chicken.

I wanted a not too Chinese yet not too Western chicken dish, fragrant, rich, & yet without frying as the cooking method cos the entire apartment would be oily. My best friend in the kitchen is the oven, but because I was back at my parents' house, all we had was the oven toaster! It had to cook up a miracle somehow!

I'm gonna share with you my successful experiment :D Brought some over to my cell group member's house & he said it's yummy! *woots*

* recipe below serves 4 persons*

Ingredients for the sauce/marinade:
1 ripe yellow mango, cut into small pieces [I used the waterlily mango]
A pinch of dried rosemary [If you have fresh ones, that'll be even better!]
A pinch of dried thyme
A pinch of salt
1 - 1 1/2 tsp of sugar [It depends on how sweet you want your 'sauce' to be]
2 - 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar [I just wanted a slight tangy/fresh-sourish taste. I think you can have orange juice or lemon juice as well, but maybe half the amount]
2 drops of Worcester sauce
3-5 drops of sesame seed oil [I wanted the smoky fragrance...brings the dish to another level in my opinion]
1 tsp olive oil 

Ingredients (main):
1 ripe but firm yellow mango, cut into larger pieces [I prefer larger pieces as it gives some 'bite'/variety of texture]
1/2 a medium-sized chicken, cleaned, chopped into approximately 6 pieces & lightly marinated with salt & pepper

Blender/Food processor
Mixing bowl
Aluminum foil

1. Preheat oven at around 200°C for 10 minutes.
2. Place all the ingredients of the marinade into the blender & blend 'til it becomes a thick sauce. You may adjust the taste of your sauce accordingly.

3. Place the chicken in the mixing bowl & pour the marinade/sauce over the chicken. Toss & mix well, ensuring the all the pieces of chicken are well-coated with the sauce. Let it 'marinate' for at least 10 minutes (the longer the better!)

4. Place the pieces of chicken onto the aluminum foil & spoon some/all of the marinade onto the chicken. [It's really up to you, whether or not you want more gravy]

Don't these remind you of durians? :D 
Maybe I should bake durian chicken someday! Hohoho...

5. Wrap the chicken with the foil. Bake the chicken at 200°C for 20 minutes/until it is cooked.
6. Unwrap the chicken & pour out the gravy from the foil wrap into a bowl. Set the gravy aside.
7. Place the chicken with the foil now unwrapped (leaving the chicken 'exposed') back into the hot oven.
8. Bake 'til the chicken skin turns golden brown & if possible, crispy! It should take another 5-8 minutes for the magic to take place.

9. Remove the baked chicken from the foil & place it on a plate.
10. Place the mangoes on top of the chicken & drizzle the gravy over the mangoes & chicken pieces.

The chicken dish is finally ready to be served & enjoyed! I found the chicken very fragrant! The gravy was luscious, smooth & well-balanced in sweetness, savory & a slight tangy taste from the cider. When eaten together with the freshly cut mangoes, ah, it was just music in my mouth!

My recipe may not be 100% accurate as I go by "feel" most of the time. If you try it, I hope it'll turn out great as well! Enjoy!

Note: I'm looking forward to participate in my 1st cooking competition this weekend i.e. Philips Cooking Challenge @ Empire Shopping Gallery! I wonder who my partner will be & what we'll be cooking since it's all by drawing lots...*nervous yet excited* Keep me in prayer for an enjoyable time & favor for success!

In an experimental mode,


Home-Cooked: Baked Chicken with Vegetables

>> Monday, August 25, 2014

This was something that I've done earlier this year & have been baking the same all this while. Since I've some time to post, I thought I'll just share this with all my blog readers! I've actually shared it with my FB friends & have sent out the recipe to some friends who just want to cook something simple & nutritious for themselves :)

Pieces of chicken [up to you how many pieces & how large each piece is; I would recommend having the chicken pieces to be 1/8 of the whole chicken as it’ll cook faster than a whole chicken]
1 ½ cup pumpkins, macedoine/large-diced
½ cup baby carrots/carrots, macedoine/large-diced
1-2 sticks celery, ‘roll-cut’
¾ cup potatoes, macedoine/large-diced
2 cloves of garlic, peeled & crushed
1-2 shallots, peeled & crushed
3 tbsp water

1 tbsp cooking oil/olive oil
1 ½ tsp chopped basil [I used dry basil/herbs]
1 ½ tsp chopped parsley [I used dry parsley/herbs]
Salt, to taste
Ground White/Black Pepper, to taste
1 tbsp butter

Electric oven
Non-stick baking pan
Aluminum foil
Tablespoon/kitchen tongs

Side note:

A. Marinating the chicken
1. Wash the chicken pieces under running tap water.
2. Drain the chicken pieces & place it in a bowl/chopping board.
3. Gently cut the pieces of chicken to make slight ‘incisions’ on each piece of chicken. [This will allow you to roughly determine if the chicken is cooked or not later as well as allows greater absorption of the seasoning]
4. Sprinkle a pinch of salt & some pepper on the pieces of chicken.
5. With your hands, rub the salt & pepper onto the pieces of chicken.
6. Sprinkle ½ tsp of basil, ½ tsp of parsley onto the pieces of chicken.
7. With your hands, gently dab the herbs onto the pieces of chicken.
8. Allow the chicken pieces to “rest” & be marinated for at least 10-15 minutes.

B. Seasoning the vegetables
1. Lay the baking pan with aluminum foil. [I do this to avoid washing a heavily greased pan. It’s easier to clean on the overall as well]
2. Place all the vegetables onto the pan; random is good!
3. Drizzle cooking/olive oil onto the vegetables.
4. Sprinkle a pinch of salt & some pepper onto the vegetables.
5. Sprinkle 1 tsp of basil, 1 tsp of parsley onto the vegetables.
6. Using the spoon/kitchen tongs, toss the vegetables & its seasoning to ensure all vegetables are well-coated with the seasoning. [You could use your hands as well if you’re not too fussy]
7. Pour the 3 tbsp of water onto the vegetable mix.

C. Baking the chicken with the vegetables
1. Cover the baking pan with an aluminum foil.
2. Bake the vegetables at 200°C for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are moderately soft/half-cooked. [depends on how soft your prefer]
3. Remove the pan from the oven & remove the aluminum foil.
4. Place the pieces of chicken on top of the vegetables.
5. Cover the baking pan with the aluminum foil again.
6. Bake the vegetables & chicken pieces at 200°C for 20 minutes or until the chicken pieces are fully cooked. [The incisions on the chicken should have “opened like an open-wound” or you could use a fork/knife to poke through the chicken pieces. If the fork/knife could fully go through the chicken pieces, the chicken is cooked. If not, you’ll need to cook it longer; it depends on the size of your pieces of chicken]
7. Once the chicken pieces are cooked, remove the aluminum foil cover.
8. Brush each piece of chicken with some butter.
9. Bake just the top of the chicken for another 10 minutes, turning the pan to ensure the chicken skin is evenly roasted ‘til golden brown & crispy.
Optional: Add more water (1 tbsp at a time) onto the vegetables in case it burns or becomes too dry for your liking.
10. Remove the pan from the oven & serve hot with a side of rice or pasta!

Bon Apetit!

Note: Coming up next, PerutBesi's Mango Chicken (fresh from the oven - it's still baking now!!)



Travel: Trip to Bali (Part 5 - Local Food vs Touristy Food)

>> Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Some people have been asking, "Where is the PerutBesi?" "Sudah karat kah? Hehehe"

I struggle to find time & 'motivation' (as well) to finally sit down & start blogging. The entire month since my last post has been a crazy journey, especially on the perspective of work. The hectic & busy lifestyle of work just ate me up & probably blew me into pieces that I had to use the entire month to piece myself up once again. Whenever I had time, I just want to not stare into the computer!

Now that my work project has finally entered its 'peak' period, frankly speaking, most things have stabilized. Preparation for anything for the matter of fact is probably worse than the 'peak period'/main event itself. I truly am looking forward to the end of the project, but I also have questions on what next.

Anyhow, I should give my poor Bali trip post a proper conclusion. This was & is supposed to be the finale, but due to work commitment, I just couldn't attend to the blog a month back.

As an adventurous person who looks out for good food at lower/non-tourist prices, my mum, sister & I decided to have a simple lunch at the Mount Bratan's local market instead of at the restaurants that overlook the majestic Mount Bratan itself.

As we didn't have much time to research on this place prior to our trip, we just walked around & decided to stop by at this Warung Muslim Ramun/Ummi for a bowl of the typical bakso or soto ayam. I have to say that the serving is MINI (at least for my appetite)!

Bakso Sapi (Rp10,000/ ~RM2.83/bowl)
Taste is acceptable although slightly bland, but the portion is just really small. We could finish 1 bowl up in like 3-4 mouthful! I also realized that most of their bakso soups are rather bland because most Indonesians actually add the chili sauces/dark sauces & spices available on the table into the soup.

Soto Ayam (Rp15,000/ ~RM4.24/bowl)
It looks neater than what you see here, but my mum didn't realize that I still wanted to take photos of these humble bowls of noodles, so she started eating already. I have to say that although more pricey than the Bakso Sapi, the Soto Ayam noodles is actually more tasty & flavorful & pleasant to be eaten without adding any sauces.

Nasi Impit came with the Soto Ayam

On that same day, on the way back from Bratan to the hotel, we stopped by at the famous Warung Naughty Nuri's (Batubelig). This is like THE place for a good serving of pork ribs, barbecued to perfection, accompanied by a great range of margaritas & alcoholic drinks. Naughty Nuri's is well-known among tourists & you'll rarely spot locals in the restaurant apart from those working here.

The environment is fun, vibrant & lively. Don't expect to come here for a quiet meal after a long day, but you'll definitely get to enjoy a glass of alcoholic beverage with a porky meal.

Interesting deco (non-halal? :P)

Fun workers!

Happy piggies everywhere!

As we're not THAT hungry & the prices of food here are much higher than at the usual stalls, we decided to order 2 dishes & share it among the 3 of us.

Quesadillas (Rp58,000/ ~ RM16.40/serving)
The size is like a personal-sized pizza, so it was like an appetizer for the 3 of us. I can't say that it's thumbs up cos I would still prefer Chilli's version to this if I've to make a choice between the two. My mum wasn't too excited with this since the jalapenos are pretty spicy for her! :P

BBQ Pork Ribs (Rp110,000/ ~RM31.13/serving)
Frankly speaking, it felt like a personal portion, not something that should be shared. As we ordered to share, thinking that the pork ribs would be much larger in size, we only had 1/3 of what you see below per person. The taste is great, but the portion could be more generous. I love the smokiness, slight sweetness & the tangy taste from the marination & the squeezed lime.

It's good!
Meat "falls off the bones" easily - tender, juicy, & flavorful.

Interesting signs at the restaurant
This one's spotted in the bathroom.

Here's another interesting sign at the car park area

I can't say that we're 100% satisfied with dinner, but we didn't go hungry through the night. Given another chance to go to Bali, we will not go to the famous & touristy restaurants anymore! It's local all the way!

Naughty Nuri Batubelig
Jalan Batubelig, 41 (Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta, Bali)
Tel: (+62) 0361 847 6722
Email: mail@naughtynurisbali.com

On our 2nd last day at Bali, after an enjoyable visit to the Uluwatu Temple area & before our amazing spa & massage session, we stopped by for a quick lunch at a nearby Warung Es Teler 66 behind the Murano Spa.

Unlike the warung at Mount Bratahn's local market, this stall certainly serves a much better tasting bakso. I would recommend this stall for their big meatball bakso & their yummy es teler!

Bakso Ayam (Rp8,000/ ~RM2.26/bowl), Bakso Sapi (Rp9,000/ ~RM2.55/bowl), Lontong (Rp3,000/ ~RM0.80/serving)
Check out the size of the meatball! It's much bigger & much cheaper than what we got at Mt Bratan's local market as well! SUPERBLY WORTH IT! It tastes pretty good once you add the sauces as well, so I've no complains here. Their "lontong" (blocks of rice behind the bowl of bakso in the photo below) wasn't what I expected it to be though (I thought it would come with gravy & vegetables). I guess culture is certainly different although many Indonesians & Malays in Malaysia have this for their meals. I can't complain much since it's RM0.80 for a 'side dish'...hahaha.

Es Teler Coklat (Rp7,000/ ~RM1.98/serving), Es Juice Orange (Rp7,000/glass)
Es teler is alike our ice-kacang back in Malaysia, but it's not shaved ice, just roughly crushed ice with a whole load of jelly, avocado pieces, atap che, nangka, & this version had chocolate sauce in it! YUMMY!!! Orange juice is quite straight forward, so I didn't bother with a photo here. Nothing very spectacular for that drink...heh.

Ah, reminiscing on the Bali trip sure brings back loads of good & heart-warming memories.

I need another vacation! Time to plan for the next one...where to next...? Any ideas? ;)

Es Teler 66 & Mie Ayam Bakso
101, Jln Dewi Sri
Kuta, Bali
Tel: (+62) 087 862 411 666 (delivery service available)

Love traveling & enjoying good food,

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