1chicken (about 1.1kg)10quail’s eggs, at room temperature150 gmhickory woodchips425 mlcoconut milk50 gmsoft light palm sugar45 mlfish sauce25 mlcoconut vinegar (see note)25 mllime juice150 gm (1 cup) shaved fresh coconut160 gm (2 cups)bean sprouts, trimmed2long red chillies, thinly sliced2red shallots, thinly sliced1 cup each(loosely packed) Thai basil, Vietnamese mint and coriander35 gm(¼ cup) peanuts, coarsely chopped¼ cupfried shallotsTo serve:thinly sliced kaffir lime leavesMaster stock3 litres(12 cups) chicken stock300 mlShaoxing wine150 gmyellow rock sugar (see note)150 mllight soy sauce75 mldark soy sauce6garlic cloves, thinly sliced6star anise4spring onions, coarsely chopped3 piecesdried mandarin peel (see note)3 piecescassia bark2 cmpiece of ginger, thinly sliced
For master stock, simmer ingredients in a large saucepan over medium heat for 30 minutes to combine flavours. Set aside to infuse (30 minutes), strain (discard solids) and bring to the simmer in a large saucepan or small stockpot over medium heat.
Add chicken to master stock, weight with a small plate, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool chicken completely in master stock, then remove from stock (discard stock or reserve for another use), coarsely shred meat (discard skin, bones and sinew) and set aside.
Meanwhile, cook quail’s eggs in a saucepan of simmering water for 2 minutes, refresh and peel. Double-line a wok with foil, place woodchips in wok and heat over medium-high heat until smoking (6-8 minutes). Place quail’s eggs on a wire rack small enough to fit in wok. Cover wok completely with foil to enclose and smoke eggs until light brown (6-8 minutes), then set aside. Halve eggs just before serving.
Stir coconut milk, palm sugar and fish sauce in a saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, bring to the boil, reduce heat to low-medium and simmer until reduced by two-thirds (20-25 minutes). Cool, add vinegar and lime juice, season to taste and set aside.
Preheat oven to 180C. Scatter coconut on an oven tray and toast, stirring occasionally, until golden (10-12 minutes), then set aside to cool.
Combine remaining ingredients (except lime leaves) in a large bowl with chicken and toasted coconut, drizzle with coconut milk dressing, toss to combine and serve scattered with smoked’s quail eggs and kaffir lime leaves.
Note Coconut vinegar, yellow rock sugar and dried mandarin peel are available from select Asian grocers.
This recipe is from the April 2013 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.