Malaysian Mamak Fried Chicken

Ingredients: 8 chicken legs and thighs, 2 1/2 tbsp (57 grams) Malaysian dried shrimp paste/belacan, 1 can (400 ml) coconut milk, 3" (70 grams) chunked ginger, 2 large lemongrass stalks, 3 tiny shallots, peeled, 3 cloves smashed garlic.   

1 kaffir lime leaves, 4 tbsp fish sauce, 1 tbsp curry powder, 1 tsp powdered cumin, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp palm or dark brown sugar, 1/2 tsp ground white pepper.  

Wrap Malaysian shrimp paste (belacan) in foil and roast for 10-15 minutes in a preheated 400F/200C oven.   

Then combine it with coconut milk, ginger, lemongrass, shallots, garlic, kaffir lime leaves, fish sauce, curry powder, ground cumin, salt, palm sugar (or dark brown sugar), and ground black pepper.  

Blend smooth. Refrigerate chicken legs and thighs in this marinade for 6–12 hours.  

Allow chicken to reach room temperature 2 hours before cooking. In a large basin, mix all-purpose flour, rice flour, cornstarch, curry powder, black pepper, white pepper, cayenne powder, and salt evenly.  

Leave a thin marinade coating on each chicken piece, then lightly bread them. Pat each piece to remove excess breading, then place on a tray.  

Add 2" of oil to a frying saucepan, heat to 330F/165C over medium-high heat, and maintain.  

Lightly fry chicken legs (7-8 minutes) and thighs (10 minutes) until golden brown on both sides, avoiding crowding the pot. While frying the rest, keep the fried chickens warm in a 320F/160C oven.  

Serve fried birds with fresh curry leaves cooked until crispy and seasoned with salt.  

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