Twice-cooked baby chicken with chilli sauce and kaffir lime leaf saltPrint Recipe
1.2 litres Asian master stock (see page 304)
4 poussins, wing bones clipped, backbone removed, sliced in half, lengthways, or regular chicken supremes, skin on (1.8kg)
1 tbsp peanut oil
7 garlic cloves, finely chopped (20g)
40g ginger, peeled and finely grated (30g)
8 red chillies, de-seeded and finely diced
20g caster sugar
40ml rice vinegar
Kaffir lime leaf salt:
8 medium dried (that’s important: fresh won’t blitz easily) kaffir lime leaves, stems discarded
coarse sea salt
1 lime, quartered
This is to NOPI what chargrilled broccoli is to Ottolenghi: a signature dish that our customers will not let us take off the menu. The process of marinating and then cooking the chicken in the master stock makes this a genuine surprise to people who tend to think of the bird as a bland meat and would not normally order it in a restaurant.
The dish needs a bit of advance planning – the stock needs to be ready so that the chicken can be marinated in it overnight. Most of the work is done in advance, though, so it’s a very easy dish to cook for friends. The chicken can be marinated for longer than just a night, if you like: the longer the better, for up to 3 days.
Scully was based in the Motcomb Street branch of Ottolenghi, in Belgravia, when he was developing this dish for NOPI. The close proximity of Harvey Nichols to the deli meant that he was often found wandering the aisles of the food hall, looking for inspiration for new and wonderful ingredients. It was here that he discovered lemon myrtle salt. It was the perfect accompaniment to the chicken until Cornelia costed the dish up for the menu and put a swift ban on the ingredient (as well as any future recce trips to the dangerously loved food hall). Nowadays, we source pure myrtle flakes from Queensland and mix them at NOPI with flaky sea salt. If neither the flakes nor the ready-made salt are available to you, our suggested alternative of dried kaffir lime leaf salt works very well.
The Asian master stock here (see page 304) is like liquid gold. Once you’ve made and cooked with it, it can be kept and used again: the more you use it the more intense and rich the flavours become. We love to poach whole fish in it, but the possibilities are endless. Simply strain the stock, discard the solids and return the liquid to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, skimming any impurities from the surface. Remove from the heat and leave to cool before transferring it to a plastic container. It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
(p 167, NOPI The Cookbook)