Friday, October 04, 2013

PokPok BokBok Ped Yang

It was decided this was the week for some red Thai curry (ped yang). And instead of getting duck (my preference), I ended up getting chicken. I really wanted to do it justice (the chicken, not the curry), and happened to find this recipe for Fish Sauce Wings, and had an a-HA! moment. I'd do up an entire spatchcocked chicken (and additional wings) a la PokPok, with the intent to add it to the red curry the next night.

It takes 2 nights to set this up, but what all that time will provide you with a bucket of deliciousness, so IMHO, it's worth the bit of effort. 

My approach to the chicken is a bit different than the recipe, as the recipe calls for marinating in (what will turn into) the glaze, then deep frying, then reglazing the chicken. I first made an aromatic brothy brine, which I cooled and soaked the chicken and parts overnight. The brine recipe, I shall keep to myself. This isn't long division or science. Seriously, you can figure this out. And if not, you can figure out a suitable brine, given the Thai flavor profile.

The next night, I prepped the marinade/glaze, let it marinate for about an hour in that, then baked it off, turning the chicken and parts once, so every surface got nice and caramelized. I held this in the fridge overnight, to be incorporated into a quickie ped yang I planned on MacGuyvering in my Nesco pressure cooker. 

FTR: I used what the Asian market had packaged as a "Cornish Hen," but in reality it was a small chicken (2 lbs? thereabouts?), and I did up a tray of chicken wing portions (roughly 1-2 lbs).  Additional Reading, re: BOKBOK!

MY Fish Sauce Marinade:

1-2 T. Cock brand fish sauce (nam pla)
2 T. Tamari
1 T. Trader Joes brand pepper jelly
1 T. Honey
2 T. garlic-shallot paste
Super special ingredient redacted! :) HAH! Always leave 'em wanting more! YOU FIGURE OUT THE MYSTERY INGREDIENT! HAH!
Juice of 1/2 lemon
About 2" worth of finely minced fresh cilantro stems (I mince directly off a bunch, YMMV)
2 Scallions, finely minced.

Yes, I am THAT LAZY. Too lazy to fry the garlic like in the linked recipe. Plain and simple. And really, I prefer the intensity of garlic this way vs fried. 

Anyway, I put the spatchcocked chicken and wings in a single layer on a foil lined cookie sheet in a 350 preheated oven for about 40 minutes, and then bumped it up to the broil setting for the last bit of cooking (once everything started getting to my preferred level of "broiled-ness," I flipped everything (with tongs) so the backsides could get all nice and shellacky/broiled. The broiling I *EYEBALLED* do not set it to broil and walk away. Well, unless your desired end product is fully carbonized chicken carcasses, in which case, HAVE AT IT, slacker!

This is what MY PokPok BokBok looked like right out of the oven. And holy shit! The house smelled so effing delicious! 


Since the chicken was already cooked, that cut the cook time considerably. And to be honest, I could have gone about 1-2 minutes LESS, and in doing so, my pumpkin would have been the perfect texture. So my recipe will reflect THAT cook time, not the cook time I actually used.

Get all your ingredients available and prepped and ready to go, because once the curry paste hits the pan, things move FAST. Dinner in less than 15-20 (thereabouts!) minutes kinda fast.

Ped Yang Ingredients (in the order they appear in the pressure cooker, set to the browning setting):
  • 1 T. Coconut oil
  • 1 small can Mae Ploy red curry paste (I used about 2/3 of the can, but next time will use an entire can for a more intensely flavored curry--this recipe at 2/3 a can provides a delightful enough curry, though!)
Cook the paste a bit until a bit more oil comes out of it, then add:
  • 12 oz can Lite Coconut Milk (I used Roland brand)
  • 1/2 Can's volume of water (this rendered out a thinner curry)
Bring to boil, and ensure no lumps remain of the curry paste.

Here's where the fun begins. You figure out which friggin' veggies you like and want to use for this curry. Some folks put potato in it (WTF?, srsly... WTF?). I like Asian pumpkin, aka Kabocha.  Scrub the skin really well, pat dry and yes! The skin is edible. Once the liquid has come to a boil for a minute or two. Turn off browning setting.

Now for the veggie combination I added to the bubblin' ped yang, and this is in the order I added everything in evenly distributed layers:
  • 1/2 Nice sized kabocha, seeded and cut into roughly 1/2" cubes  (FOR ME)
    Ideal substitution for kabocha: Butternut squash or acorn squash, or maybe a Blue Hubbard Squash
  • 1 Medium-to-Large onion, cubed
  • 1 Yellow bell pepper, seeded and cubed
At this point, the PokPok BokBok made its appearance. I started layering the bokbok and wings in an even layer, then continued with the last two layers of veggies:
  • 1 Small can (drained), BRAISED bamboo shoots (FOR HUBBY)
  • 2 Fistfuls nice sized Shitake mushrooms, stems off, caps cut in half
Optional (though, I opted WITHOUT): 5 Kefir lime leaves, cut in half (I buy mine fresh, then dry them--I find the flavor stays true--unlike cilantro which just is pitiful when it's dried).
Minor detour/discourse on veggie selection: 
You don't want something that mushes up in this (though to be honest, it could thicken the gravy. So unless that's your desired consistency/end result, go for it. If you like baby corn, put baby corn! Straw mushroom instead of shitake? Go ahead. I don't give a fuck. Carrots? Really? Are we having this conversation? What's there to talk about? I've seen recipes where folks use tomato. I do not prefer tomato in my curry, so I don't add it. See what I did there? I just YMMV'd my recipe. For the love of Pete, do not add celery to this. Blargh! And if you want broccoli, go for it, but don't add it to the curry, but steam it and serve it along side it, otherwise your batch of curry will end up with a farty-broccoli top note to it. And well, unless that's your desired flavor profile, I don't recommend cooking it together. 
Now for the important detail: Put the lid on the Nesco, set the valve to SEAL, and set it for HIGH PRESSURE for five minutes. I gave it about a half a minute, then did the manual release (I usually cover the valve with a dishtowel, to blunt the spray of the steam). 

I was really surprised at how fast this was to put together, and really? It took longer to cook my rice. So if/when I make this again, I'll start my rice FIRST, then start the set up for the curry.
Minor discourse on rice:
I served this with a 50/50 mix of jasmine rice and barley (cooked together--I only had a bit of Jasmine rice leftover, and the barley adds nutrition and a wee bit of a different texture to the rice, but equally nice and neutral.Though, if all you have at home is white basmati, that's fine, though it's got a different aroma, pleasant, but different, from the Jasmine. Suitable enough of a substitute though. Brown basmati is just too rough, and takes too damned long to cook, IMHO. I have a 5 lb bucket of it at home, and I might end up feeding it to the birds. Hate it.

GARNISH:  I garnished with a flurry of  Thai basil chiffonade and some minced scallions. If you prefer cilantro vs basil, have at it. I don't care. But this was how I prepared MY curry.

My Nesco is 6 quarts, and I guesstimate this recipe made roughly 2.5-3 quarts of curry. YMMV.

End note: Picture of curry may or may not be provided today. Depends on how lazy I am, and how nicely I can stage a bowl of it.

No comments: