Frog Chicken or Chicken Frog?

In my country we have a dish named ‘Ayam Kodok’ which literally can be translated as Frog Chicken. I don’t exactly know why it is named Frog Chicken, I guess probably because the chicken looks like a big frog. 

Frog Chicken is basically stuffed chicken like stuffed turkey, the popular dish served in the unique American celebration of Thanksgiving Day. 

To find out why it is named Frog Chicken, I try to google it  and found Chicken Frog instead. According to Lewis Smith (Environment Reporter) ‘Chicken Frog’ is a frog that is reputed to sound and taste like chicken and is treated as a Caribbean delicacy (photograph  by Worth 1000.com)

Looking at the photo of this chicken frog, I was wondering whether this is a kind of ‘unholy union’ between chicken and frog?

Well, let us put aside the Chicken Frog and focus on Frog Chicken since my intention is to post about Frog Chicken or Ayam Kodok.

What is Frog Chicken?

Ayam Kodok or Frog Chicken is basically a deboned chicken stuffed with a kind of meatloaf and hard boiled eggs placed alongside the meatloaf. The meatloaf was a combination of the ground chicken meat itself with liver pate, several slices of bread soaked in milk, some ground pork (for those who can eat it), nutmeg, salt, pepper, sugar and a little bit of sweet soy sauce. To stuff the chicken is almost like stuffing a turkey except in here we have to stitch up the skin back to enclosed the stuffing inside.

Since Indonesia is like a melting pot of different cultures, don’t be amazed that this dish is a marriage between Dutch, Indonesian and Chinese influences!

During my research on Frog Chicken, I also found an article in Gourmet.com  on ‘Leaping Frog” Chicken: A Little Flattening Goes A Long Way by Jane Daniels Lear. It is the so-called “leaping frog” technique created by Latin-cooking authority Maricel Presilla. The following is the step-by-step of the deboning technique:

 (1) With the drumsticks of the chicken facing you, cut between the body and one drumstick, leaving the drumstick attached.

(2) Widen the area around the thigh joint and bend the leg back until it pops out of joint but still remains attached. It’s not difficult to do; it’s actually a matter of feel. You’ll see, the next drumstick will go much faster.

(3) Exchange your knife for kitchen or poultry shears. Lifting up the breast, cut through the ribs all the way to the shoulder joint, first on one side, then on the other. Now the bird is essentially in two pieces that are hinged at the shoulders. Turning over the chicken so that it is skin side up, open it so that it’s splayed out on the work surface.

(4) With the heel of one hand, press down hard on the breastbone to crack and flatten it.

(5) Stand back and admire your work. From this topographical perspective, the chicken is huge; you can see all the meat you’re getting.

Photograph by: Romulo Yanes 

Now, lets go back to my original topic about Ayam Kodok.

I’ve never cooked Ayam Kodok in my life. To me, deboning chicken with a sharp knife is quite intimidating. But one day I have to overcome my fear and try to do it myself. As for now, let’s learn together the step by step on how to make the delicious Ayam Kodok.

After studying different recipes of Ayam Kodok, I found the best step by step recipe complete with pictures in Nova Tabloid as follows:    

Main Ingredient:

  • 1 kg fresh whole chicken with good skin condition

Ingredients for Stuffing

  • 200 gram minced beef
  • 200 gram minced chicken
  • 2 chicken livers, boiled and mashed
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons fried shallots
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • 2 slices of  plain bread, shredded, soaked in 100 ml milk

 Ingredients for the spread-mix

  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons sweet soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Worchester sauce

Mix well all the above ingredients  to spread on the chicken skin before and  while it is baked.

Ingredients for the Sauce

  • 2 onions, chopped (half for brown sauce and half for white sauce)
  • 4 tablespoon of margarine or butter (2 tbsp for brown and 2 tbsp for white sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons of flour (1 tbsp for brown and 1 tbsp for white sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon sweet soy sauce
  • 1 tablepoon worchestershire sauce
  • 200 ml chicken stock (for brown sauce)
  • 200 ml milk (for white sauce)
  • 100 ml cream (for white sauce)
  • Salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste

Step by step to make the Frog Chicken

Step 1

  • Cut the bone in area of the chicken belly with small sharp knife

 

Step 2

  • Release the skin of  the chicken breast and its surrounding by pushing and pressing using index finger

 

Step 3

  • Release the skin of the chicken back using the same technique and cut the meat in that area.

Once the skin was off of the chicken, it’s rubbed with a juice of quarter of lime. Lime helped the skin to be crispy and to have a crackly texture. 

Step 4

  • Cut the meat of the chicken thigh, break the join and remove the bone.

 

Step 5

  • Cut the bone of the chicken shoulder, and release the skin in that area by using index finger

 Step 6

  • Release the bones of the chicken breast

 

Step 7 and 8

  • Mix all the  ingredients for stuffing except the hard boiled eggs.
  • Put the mixture in a tri-angle plastic bag.
  • Stuff  1/3 of the stuffing-mix into the chicken thorax cavity.
  • Insert the hard boiled eggs and then stuff the rest of the mixture

 

Step 9

  • Stitch up the chicken skin using needle and thread and make sure the stuffing  will not leak out.

 

  •  Tie the chicken legs and wings with cotton thread in such a way to secure the ‘frog chicken’ position.  
  • Punch the surface of chicken skin with needle to make sure it will not erupt when steamed.
  • Steam the chicken for 1 hour

The reason for steaming was to ensure that the stuffing was partially done because we didn’t want to bake this too long. Baking too long would make the chicken too dry.

  • Remove from steamer, smear the chicken skin with the spread-mix
  • Bake  in oven at 170 degree Celsius for 1 hour
  • While the chicken is in Oven, from time to time smear the chicken skin with the spread-mix

 To make the Sauce

 The brown sauce

  • Heat margarine or butter in a sauce pan on medium heat
  • Stir fry the onion until fragrant
  • Add in the flour, stir well until thickened.
  • Pour in the chicken stock slowly while continue stirring
  • Add in the sweet soy sauce, worchestershire sauce, salt, pepper and ground nutmeg
  • Cook through until boiling
  • Remove from heat

 The white sauce

  • Heat margarine or butter in a sauce pan on medium heat
  • Stir fry the onion until fragrant
  • Add in the flour, stir well until thickened
  • Pour in the milk slowly while continue stirring
  • Add the cream, mix well
  • Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg
  • Cook through until boiling
  • Remove from heat

After all the above is done, serve the Frog Chicken with baked potatoes, the brown and white sauces plus steamed vegetables.

And this is the interior look of Ayam Kodok when sliced

 

As the price of turkey is so expensive in Indonesia because it is imported, lets celebrate our version of Thanksgiving Day with Ayam Kodok or Frog Chicken🙂

References:

  • Lewis Smith, Environment reporter
  • Jane Daniels Lear, Gourmet.com
  • Tabloid Nova

3 responses to “Frog Chicken or Chicken Frog?

  1. Well its still interesting topic🙂 but not much indonesian ppl know abt “ayam kodok” wanna open a restaurant??you can call me :p

  2. Pingback: RESEP AYAM KODOK « Daily TELEGRAPH

  3. Pingback: Resep Ayam Kodok | Recipes 2 Try

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