When I was very young my grandmother would cook a variation of this dish using duck for Chinese New Year. If you are using duck, the dish would then be called Itik Sioh. In fact the original dish uses duck rather than chicken. But nowadays, most families would prefer to use chicken rather than duck due to hassle of prepping the duck and also a less gamey taste to the dish. In short, some people really do not fancy duck at all! Because of the amount of tamarind in the recipe, this dish is usually kept at room temperature for days. There is no need to refrigerate the left overs. The longer this dish is kept, the tastier it gets. I used to lick all the thick gravy from each piece of chicken bone simply because it tasted so good!
Ayam Sioh (Chicken with Tamarind and Coriander)
(serves 4 - 6)
Recipe from Traditional Malaysian Cuisine
1 large chicken - cut into 4 pieces
10 shallots - pounded finely
1 tsp white pepper
2 Tbsp thick soy sauce
1 Tbsp salt
10 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp coriander powder - roasted
250g tamarind - mixed with 1 cup of water and strained
2 Tbsp salt dissolved in water
1) Combine coriander powder, sugar salt, soy sauce, pepper and shallots with the tamarind juice and stir well.
2) Wash the chicken in the salt water and remove the chicken. Add the chicken to the ingredients in (1). Leave chicken to marinade overnight in the refrigerator.
3) Boil the chicken in the marinade for 20 minutes over medium heat.
4) Turn the chicken over, reduce heat and boil for another 20 minutes.
5) Remove and serve warm with white rice.