January 8, 2016

Sarawakian Local Delights No 8 : Old Chicken cooked in Bamboo


Old layer hens are sold at RM12 each, at the point of writing,in what the local people called Lelong Price, or Auction Price.

Today it is a good way farmers get rid of their old layer hens quickly. And the society reacts quickly to this supply, which is quite a recent phenomena.Most Chinese would buy the chickens to prepare their superior stock for the making of soups, especially in restaurants. The old layers can be cooked in many different ways.

The Ibans use bamboo stems to cook the old chickens and the resulting "bamboo braised chicken" is soft, tasty and very aromatic.

The chicken is cleaned and cut into bit sizes and marinated with ginger, upa kechala, lemon grass, salt and pepper for a few hours before being placed in a long bamboo stem. A cup of water is finally added to the meat. A clump of young tapioca leaves is then used to stop the opening of the bamboo stem. This bamboo stem is then slowly heated up by a wood fire. It usually takes two hours to bring out the best of the chicken taste.

The result is very well cooked and tender chicken, with a good sauce which will gurgle out of the bamboo stem. It is a very aromatic dish because of lemon grass, some pandan leaves and ginger.

Served with rice, every one would enjoy God's providence.

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