Chicken Stewed In Coconut Milk & Lemongrass
1 whole native chicken, chopped into pieces (or 8-10 whatever pieces of chicken you like)
salt for rubbing chicken
1 stalk of lemon grass: wind leaves around the stalk and knot the tip of the leaves on stalk
1 tbsp minced garlic (about 4 cloves of garlic)
3 tbsp of minced ginger (about 3-4 inch knob of ginger)
1 big onion, chopped
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 cup coconut milk, 1st extract (or 1/2 can of *lite* coconut milk)
3 cups coconut milk, 2nd extract (or 1.5 cans of *lite* coconut milk)
2 cups moringa (malunggay) leaves; (alternative: 1 cup chili leaves or 2 cups baby spinach)
1 additional tbsp fish sauce or salt to taste
Take 1 whole free-range native chicken (or 8 to 10 pieces of whatever parts of chicken you like), and thoroughly season and rub with salt. See Note 3 above if using broiler chickens.
Take 1 stalk of lemongrass and wind the leaves around the stalk to create a knot with the tip of the leaves.
From 2 whole coconuts, separate the coconut water from the grated coconut flesh. Create the "1st extract" by adding 1/4 cup of coconut water to the grated coconut flesh and squeezing to yield fresh coconut milk. You'll need about 1 cup of this "1st extract".
Create the "2nd extract" by adding 3 cups of coconut water to the same grated coconut flesh from the "1st extract" and re-squeezing it. You'll need about 3 cups of this "2nd extract". See Note 1 above regarding substituting with canned coconut milk.
Take a large pot or wok, add about 3 tbsp of vegetable oil, and heat over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add in the lemongrass knot, 8 cloves of garlic (finely minced), a big 6-inch piece of ginger (finely minced), 1 big onion (diced), and sauté this for 5 minutes.
Add in the chicken pieces, 1/2 tsp of ground black pepper, and continue sautéing for another 5 minutes until the chicken is lightly browned.
Add in 1 tbsp of fish sauce and sauté for another 2 minutes.
Add in the 3 cups of "2nd extract" of coconut milk (or 1 1/2 cans of lite coconut milk). Bring this to a simmer, lower the heat to medium-low, and cover with a lid, and continue to cook for about 45 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is slightly thickened.
When the chicken is cooked, add in the 1 cup of "1st extract" of coconut milk (or the last half can of lite coconut milk), 2 cups of moringa (also called malunggay leaves. Can substitute with baby spinach leaves), and let it cook for 1 more minute. Add more fish sauce or salt to taste.
Serve over some freshly steamed jasmine rice. Enjoy!
If you're using canned coconut milk (as opposed to freshly squeezed) I would recommend using "lite" coconut milk rather than the full fat coconut milk to get the same consistency as when using freshly squeezed coconut milk. Full fat canned coconut milk creates a much thicker/richer sauce that is heavier than when using freshly squeezed coconut milk.
You can double the recipe. But if you do, I'd recommend using 2 separate pots and cooking the same amounts as in the video in each pot, rather than doubling the ingredients into 1 large pot. In order to cook/sauté all ingredients evenly.
For those using regular broiler chickens in the US, consider removing the skin from chicken pieces before cooking. In my experience broiler chickens in the US contain more fat than the native chickens in the Philippines (used in the video). And the sauce comes out oilier. Removing the skin before cooking will result in a less oily finish.