Fish shacks line the beach. You can pick your own fish: barracuda, squid, white snapper, red snapper, orange roughy, spiny lobster and head-on shrimp. They are grilled over a fire built with coconut shells with a spicy barbecue sauce, and served with steamed rice, vegetables (cooked with more chili sauce) and 3 sauces: soy sauce thickened with molasses, chili-garlic oil and garlic vinegar. The tables were on the beach overlooking the water. We had lobster, barracuda and squid. $30 USD.It turns out that this feast for two which included plenty of beer was the most expensive meal.
When cleaning out my desk the other night, I came across notes from another spectacular meal… scribbled on the back of the program from a Balinese dance.
Ayam Goreng “Satika” – Fried Chicken with Sambal Matah (onions, chili, lemon grass, and lime). Chicken is stuffed and then fried.
It would seem from these notes that I would want to recreate this meal, but it took me 10 years…. By now, I have no idea was it tasted or looked like. So I had to improvise. This is what I came up with:
Ayam Goreng Satika
2 chicken breasts, butterflied.
1 shallot, peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 stalk lemon grass, trimmed and finely chopped
1 bird’s eye chili, finely chopped
¼ tsp. sugar
½ lime, juiced
½ cup flour
1 egg, whisked with 2 tablespoons water
1 cup panko bread crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter
1. Heat 1 tablespoon plain oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add shallots, garlic, lemon grass, and chili. Sauté until soft.
2. Season chicken with salt pepper and sugar. Fill with each breast with half of the shallot/chili mix and butter. Squeeze lime juice over the chicken. Fold over.
3. Bread the chicken: First dust in flour. Then dip in eggs. Finally, coat in panko crumbs.
4. Heat a large skillet over high flame. Add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Add chicken. Cook until brown on both sides. Continue cooking in a 350F oven until chicken is cooked through.
Serve with green beans -- visit the Perfect Pantry for the recipe.