This is the 'true' Malaysian-styled barbequed chicken. Percik is directly translated as 'splash', let me tell you why in a few seconds. The marinade is made fresh, from local herbs that is then blended and cooked alongwith the chicken, before barbequing the chicken. And percik, or 'splash', is because as we barbeque the chicken, we splash or splatter more marinade onto the chicken to thicken the flavour. The result is perfectly barbequed chicken, moist and very tasty - capturing all the herbs that's blended and combined with the meat.
The origins of Ayam Percik is believed to come from Kelantan, a beautiful state in the northern East-Coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Like many other local Kelantan delicacies, this recipe uses a lot of fresh local herbs and spices as the key ingredients. Chillies, Lemongrass, Galangal, Ginger, and Onions, amongst others, when blended and cooked, brings a rich and aromatic flavour that I simply drool over.
Some of the ingredients that I use to make Ayam Percik. These ingredients are also called in many other local traditional food such as Rendang, Curries, and more. I would say that these are the basic 'must-have' ingredients for cooking the Malaysian way! Easily available in the local market here in Malaysia, or in Asian grocery stores.
I normally have my hands full to shoot photos of the 'making of' my foods, but today, thanks to my kind husband, F, he managed to take a few shots while I was busy in the kitchen :-) Cooking this takes a few hours for me, thanks to my small kitchen, no griller or bbq pit, and the fact that it is my first time making it in a very, very long time... but it was all worth my time and effort - F loved it so much! :-)
:: Ayam Percik Recipe ::
Chicken pieces (I used 8 chicken thighs)
50 grams fresh santan (coconut milk) (or substitute with plain yogurt or some milk)
2 tablespoon of tamarind juice (or sunstitute with 1 tablespon lemon juice)
Ingredients to make the paste:
3 garlic cloves
2cm fresh ginger
2cm fresh galangal (it's ok not to have this)
2 lemongrass stalk (bottom part)
2 tablespoon chili paste (or substitute with fresh red or green chilis)
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon belacan (dried shrimp paste) (optional)
1 cup water
1. Cut the ginger, galangal and lemongrass into small pieces (simply to ease the blending process) and blend all the ingredients ina food processor until smooth. This will be the key paste used as the chicken marinade, and the only thing you need now to cook the chicken.
2. Marinate the meat with the blended paste for 30 minutes or more. Meanwhile, cook some rice and cut some fresh cucumber to serve with the chicken :-)
3. Heat a large wok and cook the chicken with the paste, over a medium heat until gravy thickens, about 10-15 minutes and separate the meat from the percik gravy.
4. Barbeque/grill/bake the chicken pieces, splashing some gravy over the meat. Turn the chicken and splash more gravy until it thickens and the chicken start to cook (you can see darkened spots on the chicken).
5. Serve fresh from the heat and have a little extra gravy on the side for that extra dipping, trust me, you'll love it!
Nice to eat on its own, for lunch or when you have a party, and usually served with rice - I personally like it with plain rice or briyani :-)
What does it taste like? Close to satay, I'd say, but without the peanut sauce. I like my percik to be spicy and not too sweet. Many sold out there tend to be on the sweet side, but I prefer the gravy to be thick and always have a small bowl of extra gravy for my tastebuds :-)