Thursday, 13 August 2015

Thai Basil Paper Bag Chicken 新鲜罗勒(九层塔)纸包鸡

My Thai Basil plant has been 'exploding' in the last few days. I have abundance in harvest. I thought it would be interesting to create an original version of paper bag chicken (纸包鸡). Unlike the usual deep fried paper wrapped chicken, mine is a healthier oven-baked version that is succulent and tender.

My 'exploding' Thai Basil plant calling out for harvest.

Why paper bag/paper wrapped chicken? Firstly, I abstain from cooking oil in the preparation and cooking process. Oven baking the chicken meat (instead of deep frying) in paper would preserve the tenderness and juiciness of the meat, making it a healthier option. You can try deep frying it. It works too. Your choice.

Diced Cucumber (optional)

Ingredients (enough for 2 to 4 pax) :

  • 2 large pieces of boneless chicken leg (cut each piece into 2)
  • 1 capsicum (diced)
  • 1/2 cup fresh Thai Basil (finely chopped)
  • a little finely chopped spring onions (optional) 
  • diced cucumber (optional)
  • 1 medium size onion (finely chopped)
  • 5 slices of ginger (finely chopped or grated)
  • 1 tbsp lime chilli sauce 酸甘辣椒酱 (if you use normal chill sauce, just squeeze lime juice on it)
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 red cut chill (for garnishing)

(tsp = teaspoon; tbsp = tablespoon)    

This is my magical ingredient this time. Available in supermarkets. I bought mine from NTUC Fairprice. Alternatively, it is not difficult to cook it yourself with fresh ingredients. I can make a similar sauce in one of my future posts.

Method :

Add all seasoning ingredients into bowl with chicken : 1 capsicum (diced); 1/2 cup fresh Thai Basil (finely chopped); a little finely chopped spring onions (optional); 1 medium size onion (finely chopped); 5 slices of ginger (finely chopped or grated); 1 tbsp lime chilli sauce 酸甘辣椒酱; 1 tbsp sesame oil; 1 tbsp fish sauce; 1 tbsp honey; 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce; 1/2 tsp salt.

Marinate min. 1 hour. 
You can use parchment paper, baking paper etc to wrap your chicken. For convenience, I use compostable snack and sandwich bags.
Wrap 1 piece of chicken, diced capsicum and diced cucumber in each paper bag.
Place paper wrapped chicken in a tray and get ready for the oven. Pre-heat oven at 180 degrees celsius for 15 minutes. 
Pour excess sauce and ingredients into a bowl and bake it together with the paper bag chicken. Bake at 180 degrees celsius for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, turn off the oven and remove the sauce bowl. Leave the paper wrapped chicken in the oven for a further 5 minutes (with power off).
Remove paper wrapped chicken from oven and tear open the bag. The chicken will be smoking hot.
Garnish with basil leaves, red cut chilli and serve with rice. Very succulent, very tender....


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