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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Stuffed Deboned Chicken Roll - Gà Cuộn Nướng

The rain and wind have been intense in the past few days. My neighbor's beautiful blossoming plum was uprooted, our American flag torn apart, and my lounge chairs tossed into the swimming pool. The only thing soothing coming from outside is the melody flowing from my wind chime swaying in front of the kitchen bay window. It seems to calm the storm inside and out.

But it's also days like these that intensify your senses - especially my olfactory- to the aroma emanating from a stuffed deboned whole chicken roll. Inside my kitchen, I was rolling up a deboned whole chicken with the combination of ground turkey, wild mushrooms, vermicelli noodle, and a special Cambodian ingredient called kroeung which consists of lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, garlic, turmeric, and galangal root. This amazing stuffing is packed with fragrant aroma and earthy flavor which can be used to stuff deboned whole chicken or deboned chicken wings.
RECIPE: Stuffed Deboned Chicken Roll

1 whole chicken 
1 lb ground chicken, or ground turkey, or ground pork
1 handful dried or fresh mushrooms of your choice
2 buns vermicelli noodle
1/2 while onion, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon powder
extra oyster sauce, for later used
for Kroeung (Spice Paste)
1 stalk lemongrass, minced
a piece of fresh turmeric, about an inch, peeled, thinly sliced or
about a teaspoon of turmeric powder
a piece of galangal, about an inch, peeled,  thinly sliced
about 3 double kaffir leaves, minced
4 cloves of garlic
1-2 Thai red chili peppers, optional
for Sweet Garlic Sauce
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 cup fish sauce
1/8 cup water 
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar
1/2  teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 Thai red chili pepper, minced
1 teaspoon cornstarch, dissolved in 2 teaspoons of water

Deboning Chicken 

The technique to deboning chicken is not difficult at all, but it does require some patience and a sharp knife. Here is the link of a YouTube video show you how to debone it. After the chicken is deboned, keep it in the fridge while preparing the remaining ingredients.

Preparing Spice Paste 

It's faster to pound the ingredients into paste by cutting them into small pieces or thin slices. Using the pestle and mortar, pound and grind lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, garlic, red chili pepper, and fresh turmeric, if used, with a circular motion to release the juices and oils.

I prefer to use the traditional way with a pestle and mortar to draw out the natural oils and flavors of the ingredients, but you can also use a blender or food processor.  Add a teaspoon of water to help the blender process the ingredients into a fine thick paste.

Preparing Stuffing

Ground MeatI used ground turkey in my stuffed chicken roll just because that was what I had in my fridge but you can use either ground pork, or ground chicken.

Vermicelli Noodle- soak in water until soft, cut into an inch pieces.

Dried Mushrooms - I used a dried mix of mushrooms.  If you use dried mushrooms, soak in water until soft, slice thinly. 

To make the stuffing, mix together the meat, spice paste, noodle, mushrooms, onion, and the remaining spices except the extra oyster sauce, mixing well. You can taste test it by cooking a teaspoon of the stuffing in the microwave. Adjust the ingredients to your liking.

Stuffing the Deboned Chicken

Oyster Sauce - mix two tablespoons of oyster sauce with a table of olive oil. Set aside.

Take the chicken from the fridge. Lay it flat on a large chopping board, skin side down. Place the stuffing onto the chicken.

Bring one side of the chicken up and over the stuffing. Bring the other side up and over the first side and form a roll with your hands. You might need to tuck different parts and pieces in, to make a nice roll.
Cut about 6 pieces of twine about 14 inches long. Slide these under the chicken spaced evenly and tie them around the chicken snug.
Brush the skin of the chicken roll with oyster sauce mixture.

Roasting Chicken Roll

Place chicken roll onto the roasting rack and roast in a preheated at 375 degree F oven for an hour and 20 minutes, brushing occasionally with sauce. After half way of roasting, flip the chicken roll over so it can be browned evenly.

Remove from the oven and let it cool down for about 10 minutes before slicing.

Making Sweet Garlic Sauce

In a small pan, combine all the sauce ingredients except the cornstarch mixture, and bring it to boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. Add cornstarch mixture. Stir to incorporate. Remove from heat and taste test. It should be sweet, sour, spicy, and salty notes. Pour sauce in a small bowl and serve as a dipping sauce.


Slice chicken roll and serve with dipping sauce on the side.  

Eat well.  Stay healthy.