Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Recalling My Teenager Days Indonesian Feast: Kecap Manis Ginger Chicken (Barefoot Contessa) and Coffee Avocado Milkshake (Es Alpukat)

Despite the fact that Indonesia is a popular Asian tourist destination, the one and only time that I have been to Indonesian is when I was 15. I visited Jakarta with a coachful of my schoolmates, few teachers and NO parents!!! The trip was fun!!! We were a brunch of crazy rowdy girls like wild animals released from a convent school. Yay!!! I missed those days...

I can't recall exactly what I ate during this trip. All I can remember is Es Alpukat (coffee avocado milkshake) or anything with kecap manis...

What is kecap manis? It is an Indonesian thick and sweet soy sauce. It is commonly used to cook Indonesian-style stir fry, noodles and fried rice. Most commonly, kecap manis can be found in most Asian grocery shops and mostly available as ABC brand. Alternatively, kecap manis can be homemade by using this recipe or mixing soy sauce with honey. To cut the fuss and taste the authenticness, I rather use the ABC ones...

To recall my wonderful memory of Indonesian trip, I like to cook these non-fuss kecap manis ginger chicken inspired by Barefoot Contessa... Huh? Can Ina Garten, a non-Indonesian cook Indonesian food??? I was skeptical until I saw Alice from I Love.I Cook. I Bake cooked her Indonesian Grilled Fish Fillet which is also a Barefoot Contessa inspired recipe... Alice mentioned this Ina's recipe is pretty good but I reckon Ina's choice of ingredients need to be slightly more Indonesian...

Instead of fish, I'm cooking Barefoot Contessa's inspired kecap manis chicken in this post. To grill these chicken is extremely easy... All I have to do is to marinate the chicken overnight, place everything in the oven and bake. Nice and easy! Ultimately, we like to enjoy these fully-flavoured chicken with Es Alpukat. 

Es Alpukat? It is a thick and creamy ice-blended coffee avocado milky drink. Es Alpukat remind me of the funny nights that my friends and I had in our Indonesia trip. We were chasing each other along the corridors and having pillow fights in our rooms. Please don't misunderstand us... We are truly the "innocent" late 80s kind of convent school teenage girls and don't consume any alcohol or drugs. Now recalling back, I can't help to think our extra-rowdiness is due to the excessive caffeine in the Es Alpukat that we had... LOL!

kecap manis ginger chicken
Kecap Manis Ginger Chicken and Es Alpukat
Only these three ingredients are required to grill kecap manis ginger chicken...
... and this is the special ingredient that make Es Alpukat extra creamy and yummy!
Instead of marinating chicken in baking trays, I marinated them in zip lock bags for easier storage.
Baking these chicken is easy...
... just bake, flip and grill!
Ta-dah!!! Delicious chicken!!!
While the chicken were grilling, I made these...
es alpukat coffee avocado milkshake
Es Alpukat is ready!
kecap manis ginger chicken
Kecap manis chicken is ready!
Let's feast!

Here are the recipes
(with my modification and notes in blue)

Indonesian Ginger Chicken by Barefoot Contessa from here or here
1 cup honey
3/4 cup soy sauce 
(Instead of mixing honey and soy sauce, I have used 300ml of kecap manis)
1/4 cup minced garlic (8 to 12 cloves)
1/2 cup peeled and grated fresh ginger root
(Instead of grating, I have roughly chopped the ginger)
2 (3 1/2 pound) chickens, quartered, with backs removed
(I used 2 kg of chicken maryland with skins)

Cook the honey, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger root in a small saucepan over low heat until the honey is melted - I skipped this step. Arrange the chicken in one layer in a shallow baking pan (or zip lock bags), skin side down, and pour on the sauce. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil. Marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 350°F or 160°C fan forced.

If you marinate chicken in zip lock bags, arrange chicken with skin side down with marinating sauce in two aluminium and baking paper lined baking trays. Place the baking pan in the oven and bake for 30 mins - but I baked mine uncovered for 60 mins.

Uncover the pan, turn the chicken skin side up, and raise the temperature to 375°F or 170°C fan forced with grill. Continue baking for 30 mins or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh and the sauce is a rich, dark brown - I did mine for 15 mins or until skin grills to a rich brown colour.

Es Alpukat from Epicurious

Makes 2 large or 4 miniature serves
1/2 ripe large avocado

(I used 1/2 ripe small avocado for half of the recipe)
1/3 cup espresso or 1 cup strong brewed coffee, cooled

(for half of the recipe, I used 4 tbsp decaff instant coffee made with 1/3 cup of boiling water)
1/2 cup sweetened condensed (not evaporated) milk
(I used 99% fat free ones)
2 cups ice cubes
2 tsp vanilla (I used 1/4 tsp vanilla paste for half of the recipe)

Scoop avocado flesh into a blender, then purée with remaining ingredients until completely smooth, about 1 min.

Note: Using half of the recipe, I have made two miniature serves of smoothies as shown in my pictures.

Happy Baking
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  1. Ahhhh, where is your boy's thumbs up? Keke.. Oohh, I love savoury recipes.. Especially grilled chicken.. Your chicken looks sweet, juicy, complete with sticky goodness, oh my! And your avocado ice blended with coffee is refreshing too, bet one glass is never enuff !

  2. Omg! That chicken looks so good! I would probably eat it alone until I can't get up :)

  3. i love the avocado coffee drink so much... looks so good... definitely would love to try it when i get my hands on a ripe avocado!

  4. woohhh... your chicken looks sedap.... i haven't heard of kecap manis.... initially i thought it was ketchup! gosh.. see my bahasa... really cannot make it... now this is one enticing indonesian lunch. am i invited

  5. Oh my! I MUST make this chicken! I can just taste it's sticky goodness! (drooling) ;)

  6. This brand Kecap Manis is my favourite kecap too. Just drool looking at your chicken and I am sure it is very delicious! How come this post your son didn't give you the thumbs up? Ok, I will give you two then eventhough I have yet to taste it !!

  7. First of all, my mouth us watering!

    It's so interesting that Eastern cultures often serve ice coffee with savory dishes. I'm familiar w some Indonesian treats like soto ayam and rendang(my fav).
    This ex alpukat of yours w the avocado in the mix is cahrazy! I must try it! xo

  8. A pity you are so far away if not I hope over for dinner. hehehehe

  9. The chicken looks super delicious, my boy said yum yum when he saw it . Must try!

  10. Zoe, lucky you! I never got to go anywhere when I was 15 LOL! This chicken dish sounds like a dish I would enjoy very much. And yes, that avocado drink is to die for!

  11. OMG este pollo es un festìn se ven increìble una delicia,saludos y abrazos

  12. Wow, this chicken dish looks so tasty! Love the sound of the sauce here - it looks mouthwatering!

  13. Hi Zoe! Mantap sekali! Chicken looks delish! Anything with coffee goes for me :)

  14. I love kecap manis in mee goreng and nasi goreng too.... so yummy. And avocado drinks are soooo very good too!

  15. anything with kecap ABC is considered Indonesian dish to me LOL
    this is delicious and need lots of rice :)
    and the avocado shake is making me drooling now :)

  16. Oh Zoe, I'm drooling...both food and drink look super yummy!

  17. Hi Zoe , you got my mouth watering as usual , got to make this chicken . Thanks for sharing :)

  18. Hi Zoe, I have travelled far and wide but have never been to Indonesia, not even to Bali or Batam. I love to have a sip of that drink even though I am a non coffee drinker.

  19. Zoe, your chicken looks so so moist and delicious with the kecap manis!! I love it :) Interestingly, I think some of the food places here boast of being the first few places in Singapore to sell avocado shake but I've never heard of coffee avocado milkshake before. It must be delish with that yummy creamy avocado. It's a pity that avocado is pretty expensive here :(

  20. yumm love that chicken!!, Have never visited Indonesia. Rather unusual combination coffee and avocado .

  21. Zoe, so you were from Convent school?Shake hand shake hand, hahaha! I have a bottle of ABC kecap manis at home. Like your chicken dish, looks so delicious. On the other hand, I like coffee, I live avocado but I'm not so sure about the milkshake. I know that avocado milkshake is a popular drink on Vietnamese menu but no gut to try b4, yeah, i'm a coward, hehe.

  22. Hi Zoe,
    Lucky you, get to travel "the world" at 15! Haha! My first and only trip to Indonesia was Lake Toba, Medan. And I cannot remember much about the food.
    These chicken looks finger licking good, so sticky and yummy!
    The coffee avocado milkshake looks mighty good....wishing I have a glass right now! Would like to give this a try one of these days

  23. We were all young and rowdy once -- what great times we had! I've not had this dish, and it looks totally delish. Thanks for introducing me to it.

  24. Wau..........drooling over ur avocado coffee milk shake dear..........Coffee and avocado combination looks so interesting ....It looks heavenly.....Will try this recipe when we buy the next batch of avocados :)

  25. I think I made this chicken recipe once and It was great! Easy and delicious! Those were crazy days when we were young isn't it... i was from an all girls school too ha ha

  26. Love this Ayam Kicap Manis recipe. Easy & sure sedap ! But 1st I've got to try out this coffee & avacado milk shake! hihihihi ;)

  27. I love to cook and eat Indonesian. I have been looking for a good chicken recipe and this is it! I tried a different spice paste version, with no kekap and I did not like it. So I am delighted to try this. After some tortuous math conversions, I believe I have cut it in 1/2.

    Your story was delightful and I appreciate the recipe!