I finally got around to using some of my chillies. I decided to make a chicken dish with a Thai bent on it, it obviously would require chillies, I actually chose it because I was just dying to know what the mystery chillies were like. I went out in the garden, armed with a small pair of scissors and a small bowl and began snipping. I brought in about 10 chillies in all for the first taste test.
I first checked the refrigerator for the necessaries, and yes, there was an abundance of milk and yoghurt type products, just in case it went badly. I won’t lie, I was nervous and I nibbled the end of a chilli, just a teeny bite, just to break the skin. And…..
A huge anticlimax.
A strong capsicum flavour but no heat, nothing, zip, zero, nada. I steeled myself and took a larger bite and again I was surprised to taste capsicum but no signature burn. I threw all caution to the wind and bit of a yet larger chunk, in desperation I included some seeds in this bite, searching for that heat, the burn, the pain of fresh chilli, and I found it! There is heat, not so much in the flesh but very definitely in the seeds of these tiny chillies. I was simultaneously both ecstatic and in some pain as my bottom lip and the end of my tongue reacted to the capsaicin contained in those tiny seeds.
It was a moment of both idiocy and triumph that meant that I could successfully use my tiny mystery chillies to create those dishes in which heat is called for. So I promptly got cooking.
Chicken in Coconut Milk
1kg chicken drumsticks
1 onion, chopped
2 cups coconut milk
4 dried kaffir leaves (mine were frozen)
2cm cube fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1 red chilli, seeded and chopped (I used about 3, they are tiny and not so hot)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons brown sugar (I used a piece of palm sugar because I had it)
Remove skin form chicken pieces and discard. Place chicken pieces into a large saucepan.
Add all remaining ingredients and bring to the boil.
Lower heat and simmer uncovered for 30-35 minutes or until chicken is cooked.
Remove kaffir leaves and discard.
Serve with steamed long-grain rice.
This was so good, I had some leftovers that went into the refrigerator, rice and all. This was really good even 2 days later so I imagine that it would freeze pretty well if required.