Southern-Thai-Style Braised Chicken (Gai Kolae)

Southern-Thai-Style Braised Chicken (Gai Kolae)
Chicken is one of the most popular dishes in all of Thailand and each region has their own chicken speciality.

Southern-Thai-Style Braised Chicken
(Gai Kolae)

Spice Mixture Ingredients:
5 dried Thai chiles, seeds removed and soaked in water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground roasted coriander seeds
1/4 tsp. ground roasted cumin seeds
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 Tbs. thinly sliced shallots
1 Tbs. chopped garlic
1 tsp. chopped fresh turmeric or curry powder
1 tsp. shrimp paste (kapi)

Other Ingredients
3 ½# pieces (breast, thigs as you desire)
5 cups coconut milk
3 pairs of Kaffir Lime leaves
4 Tbs. butter
2 Tbs. peanut oil
3 Tbs. fish sauce
2 Tbs. palm sugar
3 Tbs. fresh lime juice

For Presentation:
Basil Leaves (Bai Horapha)
Chile Flowers-cut Thai chiles lengthwise but don’t cut through the stem, leave attached at the stem. Place in ice water for 20 minutes. They will curl into flowers for the garnish.


Dry roast the spices in a skillet until fragrant. Roast the kapi on a piece of tinfoil in a toaster oven or skillet until aromatic. Open window first.

Place the soaked deseeded chiles and salt in a mortar, pound with pestle until a paste, then add the garlic, shallots and pound more.

.Now add the other spices, and pound, then finally add the roasted shrimp paste (kapi) and pound to a paste..

Fry the chicken pieces in the butter and peanut oil until golden browned. Place the chicken pieces in a soup size pot and add the coconut milk and kaffir lime leaves. Reserve the butter oil and set aside. Bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes.

Heat a wok to a medium hot and add the remaining butter and oil mixture. Swirl to coat wok. Add the spice paste and fry until very fragrant, and add to chicken coconut milk pot. Season with fish sauce, fresh squeezed lime juice, and date palm sugar.

Simmer for about 15 minutes until chicken is fork tender.

Serve on a shallow platter lined with basil leaves if possible.

Serve with steamed jasmine rice.
Serves 4.

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