Ayam Percik Kelantan (MFF Kelantan)

As promised, I’m back with a recipe. And this one is a doozy, featuring one of the most versatile protein, chicken. Specifically, the thighs (well, legs). The breast lovers can divert your attention now (or make the substitution if you want). There must be over a hundred way to cook Chicken thighs, even in Malaysia alone. Even a simple barbecued Chicken dish “Ayam Percik” comes with several regional variations. As this is the Kelantan month for Malaysian Food Fest (hosted by mykitchensnippets), of course I’ve gone with a Kelantan recipe.

The State of Kelantan is located on the North East coast of Peninsula Malaysia. The dishes in Kelantan tend to be on the sweet side (I wonder if the incidence of diabetes is the highest in this state?) and even the savoury dishes contains a good dose of sugar. Coconut milk usage is high too, so their curries tend to be on the rich side as well. The dish I’ve cooked this time, “Ayam Percik Kelantan” looks a little paler comparing to the regional cousins which are usually blessed with a touch of turmeric and you guessed it, contains sugar and plenty of coconut milk.

Ayam Percik Kelantan
Ayam Percik Kelantan

Percik in Malay means sprinkle or drizzle, and this refers to the way the gravy is poured onto the chicken several times during the cooking process. As the gravy consists of coconut milk infused with various spices, what you get as an end result are pieces of the most aromatic, and succulent chicken with caramelised edges of the gravy. Just divine. Splash a little more thickened gravy over (enough to mix in the rice too) and you have yourself a very satisfying meal.

I’ve consulted Dr Google for the recipe and there are quite a few out there with different combination of spices. In the end, I decided to go with Lemongrass, Cardamom and Cloves as the main spices along with the usual onion, garlic, ginger and chili mixture. The cooking method also varies but I’ve referred closely to Kuali.com with minor adaptations. And of course, I do not have a charcoal barbeque so I’ve entrusted my oven for this job. As I cooked for one, I only used 2 Chicken thighs. Feel free to adjust the recipe to your need.

Ayam Percik Kelantan (Recipe adapted from Kuali.com)

2 Chicken Maryland (Thighs + Drumsticks)
200ml Coconut Milk
3 cardamoms
3 cloves
1 stalk Lemongrass, bruised
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon White Pepper
1 teaspoon Sugar
1 teaspoon potato starch mixed with water(or any thickening agent you prefer)

Spice paste
3 cloves Garlic
1 thumb sized Ginger
3 Shallots
3-4 Dried Chili, soaked and drained
1/2 cup Water
1 stalk Lemongrass

Put garlic, shallots, ginger, lemongrass and dried chili in blender and blend with a little water until fine. Marinate chicken thighs in this paste for at least 1/2 hour.

Transfer everything into a pot and pour half the coconut milk over it. Add cardamom, cloves and lemongrass and cook over medium heat until chicken is partly cooked, about 20 minutes. Season with tamarind paste, salt and sugar halfway through.

Smelling really good at this point.
Smelling really good at this point.

Take the chicken out of the pot, reserving the coconut milk mixture in the pot. Place the chicken on baking tray and cook under the oven grill (broiler) at medium heat for 7-8 minutes.

Discard the cardamom and cloves from the gravy. Add the rest of coconut milk and the potato starch mix and simmer until thick. Taste for seasoning.

Coat the chicken with extra sauce and continue to grill, repeating if necessary until chicken is golden brown and cooked well. When serving, ladle the delicious gravy over the chicken or you can also serve it separately. For me, the more the merrier! I served mine with some brown rice cooked with pandan leaves.

Simply Irresistible
Simply Irresistible

I will not deny that I’ve ladled extra gravy over the rice after taking the photos. I absolutely loved this. The combination of spices and the rich coconut gravy made the apartment smell incredible and of course totally won over my taste buds. The level of sweetness was just enough to complement the coconut milk. If I were to make this next time I will throw in some fresh chili as well for extra kick. The spice level is on the mild side for me, but definitely stronger for people like your typical Ang Moh (yes I’m looking at you Frank). He doesn’t eat chicken by the way, more for me.

What is your favourite chicken recipe?

I am submitting this post to Malaysian Food Fest, Kelantan Month hosted by Gertrude of My Kitchen Snippets

31 Comments Add yours

  1. Chef and Sommelier says:

    Hi Kelly! Very nice and simple meal to fill the stomach! Yes, I would pour more gravy over the rice too! 😀

    1. kellysiew says:

      Wow you are fast! I wouldn’t mind more of these now too.

  2. heheh, yeah, thighs are my favorite part too (coincidentally, i recently had a two-piece KFC platter for lunch, and i always like to let the staff determine which parts to give me. i ended up with one breast and one thigh … the perfect match!) 😀 anyway, the sauce for your ayam percik look great. creamy! i could imagine eating it WITHOUT the chicken, maybe using some bread for dipping 😀

    1. kellysiew says:

      KFC breasts are very dry for me. Haven’t had it for a while though, as I have steer clear of deep fried food as much as possible. I have some leftover sauce and last night I added a bit in fried noodles, turned out really delicious! Hmmm using bread would be lovely too.

  3. Phong Hong says:

    Kelly. glad you cooked this. It is easy isn’t it? And so yummy too! Yes, Kelantan and Terengganu have high diabetes rate as we love our food sweet. But I have since cut down on the sweetness as my partner finds it strange to have sweet curry.

    1. kellysiew says:

      I think the amount of sugar I put was not ‘authentic’ enough, hahaa. Yeah I think sweet curry is a bit strange, but I guess it’s like Thai Curry where they use palm sugar, the balance of sweet, sour, savoury is quite nice.

  4. I like…but I saw my friend’s wife cooking…so much work – I think I’ll just wait till somebody cooks for me to eat. Hint! Hint! LOL!!!!

    1. kellysiew says:

      It’s not much work actually, blend spice, marinate, cook in broth, grill, baste, grill again. Easy la!

  5. Ken says:

    Looks good, and i am sure it smells good too with all the spices added, thanks for the recipe!

    1. kellysiew says:

      Another spice commonly used in this recipe is Fenugreek seeds. You are welcome!

  6. YK says:

    Looks so yummy!
    I am a Japanese wife who live in KL, and your blog is very interesting for me.
    Because I did not have a good chance to learn how to cook Malaysian foods.

    If only you are interested in how to cook Japanese food, pls e-mail me:-)
    I am looking forward to reading your next post:-)

    1. kellysiew says:

      I hope you like the recipes I have posted then, there are quite a few local dishes but I also like cooking Japanese food. In fact today I cooked a Japanese meal with Salmon and Udon, I will blog about it soon!

    2. Mike Teng says:

      Yes, I am interested to learn how to cook Japanese food. My email address is miketeng@hotmail.com. My hp number is 012-238 6339. By the way, do you know any Japanese in Johor Bahru?

  7. ulric says:

    I love ayam percik…thanx for d recipe! =)

  8. ciki says:

    looks delicious.. but I will definitely substitue leg for breast:) !

    1. kellysiew says:

      Hahaha so healthy! To use breasts I think the chicken needs to be brined beforehand, otherwise this cooking method will make it quite dry.

  9. shuhan says:

    looks GORGEOUS kelly! everything about this dish sings to me! the spices, the coconut milk gravy.. esp for the cold dreary weather here in london, this is a winner!

    1. kellysiew says:

      Thank you! I can imagine it being excellent dish for autumn/winter….

  10. jeannietay says:

    looks yummy, and I like breasts to thighs so my boys can have the thighs…no one fighting over my fav part lol!

    1. kellysiew says:

      Ooh. I only like chicken breast in certain dishes when they are not as dry. Hehe

  11. thammelissa says:

    Looking good and delicious. Esp the gravy! 😉

    1. kellysiew says:

      The gravy is definitely the best part.

  12. oo… I love ayam percik… usually get my share during the fasting month!! yours look yummy and creamy….

    1. kellysiew says:

      I will try making the regular turmeric version next time. But these were goooooood!

  13. Peng says:

    Absolutely delicious, especially the gravy! ^.*

    1. kellysiew says:

      Glad you liked! 😀

  14. Jaclyn says:

    Is there any particular reason why it’s braised first then grilled? Is it not possible to just grill straightaway?

    1. kellysiew says:

      I think it helps for the chicken to be more juicy while the gravy can take its time to thicken up. You can always try grilling it directly but I think the gravy may not be as thick.

    2. Excellent web site you have here.. It’s difficult to find high quality writing like yours nowadays.
      I seriously appreciate people like you! Take care!!

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