Fried Spicy Chicken
Pad Phet Gai is a very spicy dish — stir fried chicken pieces in a crushed chili paste. This dish is another recipe from P-Mala, and it uses orange chilies. If you cannot find orange chilies, you can try substituting with Mexican Serrano chilies.
- 2 cups chicken, preferably free-range, chopped into bite-sized pieces including bone. (About the meat from 1 small-sized chicken)
- 3/4 cup chopped (about 15) orange chilies
- 1 tablespoon chopped coriander roots, including the bottom 1/3 of the stem
- 1/2 cup garlic
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/4 water, added to the mortar after taking out paste
- 1 tablespoon palm sugar
- Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces. It’s tastier to cut the bone in too, and not use boneless cuts.
- Smash the chilies, coriander roots, garlic, pepper and salt in a stone mortar & pestle until a paste (see picture).
- Fry the paste in the oil on medium-high heat until you sneeze a lot, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the water to the mortar, and swirl around to clean it, and set aside.
- Add the chicken along with the water from the mortar. The water will allow the flavors to soak into the chicken better.
- Cook until the chicken is cooked-through, and keep stirring. You may need to keep adding more water if it dries out.
- When the chicken is done, add the palm sugar and stir until mixed well.
- Remove from heat and serve with rice.
This dish uses orange chilies. If you cannot find orange chilies, you can try substituting with Mexican Serrano chilies.
Free-range chicken is best due to the lower fat content and stronger muscle. The flavor is better too.
P-Mala buys a whole chicken, and cuts the meat into bite-sized pieces with the bone in tact. You could probably get away with a pre-cut chicken, with bone. Just cut it with a cleaver into 1-2" (4cm) wide pieces. The bone adds a lot of flavor when you cook. When it comes time to eat, just eat around the bones and leave them on your plate.
If you don't feel comfortable cooking with the bones, boneless cuts work fine.