Last week, I met a chicken dish to die for. Our new maid/helper loves spicy food and so I detoured to FoodFare at Choa Chu Kang's Lot 1 to pick up packet of something covered in red hot chilli sauce. In Singapore, we have a bewildering array of spicy chilli sauces each with its own unique combination of spices.
As luck would have it, I found "ayam penyet" or "bashed up chicken" at the Nasi Padang stall. Everything there looked delicious but the ayam penyet seemed in a class of its own. It was still early and there was an alluring display of ayam (i.e. chicken) thighs and wings... and some furry thingamajig sprinkled all over the pile. I assure you that those thighs and wings called out to me in unison, and sang a chorus to my stomach. The thighs sounded like alto... and the wings were very much soprano voices. Together, the harmony was irresistible, even for someone who had had dinner.
The fellow before me ordered ayam penyet and when he carried off his order on a pretty wooden dish decorated with salad leaves, a crimson splash of chilli sauce and a lot of furry stuff (actually I found out that it was deep fried shredded lemongrass), it was all I could do to stop myself from gawking, mouth open at the departing dish. I ordered a packet of ayam penyet to go, and had to avert my eyes when our maid relished every bite of her dinner.
I promised myself that I would return for my own ayam penyet. I did that today. It really is the best ayam penyet I have ever had.
The spices came together in perfect combination, and the deep fried shredded lemongrass infused the whole dish, making even white rice come alive in a moment of jazz. The meat was tender and moist, and the 2 bits of greens explained carefully to my grumbling conscience that I was still eating SOME veggies, if not a lot.