2 lemongrass stalks
1 large shallot, chopped
4 garlic cloves
2” piece of ginger, peeled, and thinly sliced
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp vegetable oil
4 chicken legs, drumsticks and thighs separated
Coarsely ground pepper
4 kaffir lime leaves (optional)
3” cinnamon stick
4 cardamom pods, cracked
2 star anise pods
400ml can unsweetened coconut milk
1 tsp coconut sugar
¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
Remove the outer layer of the lemongrass and carefully grate the bottom third of one stalk, discarding the rest.
Remove the top third of the remaining stalk, and beat the rest of it against a chopping board to release essential oils.
Using a food processor, pulse the reserved lemongrass with the shallot, garlic, ginger, red pepper, turmeric and two tablespoons of water to make a spice paste.
Season chicken with salt and pepper, then cook it in hot oil in a large skillet. The chicken skin should turn a light brown after about 8-10 minutes.
Cook the spice paste in a large skillet. Stir the paste for about five minutes, when it produces a strong fragrance. Add kaffir lime leaves, cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, coconut milk, coconut sugar and the remaining lemongrass for added flavour.
Mix in with the chicken and cook at a simmer, turning occasionally to prevent burning. The chicken should turn very tender after one and a half hours. For extra flavour, toast shredded coconut in a dry small skillet over medium heat until brown.
Now you have the perfect coconut chicken, ready to serve.