I was at my local Asian grocery the other day and lo-and-behold there was a whole bunch of fresh cut sections of Jackfruit staring me in the face. You’ve probably never heard of this fruit, and if you haven’t, you are missing out. The Jackfruit is the largest cultivated fruit in the world, getting from 15lbs to over 70lbs each (yeah, that’s right… 70lbs!!!). There is a bit of work involved in getting the edible portion out, but it is well worth the effort. The fruit itself is like a cross between a pineapple, peach and banana in flavor and has a rubbery texture. To the North American palette, it is somewhat odd, but don’t let that discourage you from enjoying this delicacy. It also can be found prepared in cans, but it is rare to find it not packed in a sugary syrup.
How to prepare a Jackfruit:
Paleo Indonesian Chicken and Jackfruit Coconut Curry
- 1kg Chicken Pieces, on or off the bone
- Salt and Pepper
- Coconut Oil, for frying
- 400ml Coconut Milk
- 1 stick Lemongrass, smashed and trimmed
- juice of 1 Lime
- 4 Kaffir Lime Leaves, or 1 lime rind zested
- 1 hunk of Jackfruit, (about 500g or 1 lbs) peeled and sliced
- 1/3 cup Macadamia nuts
- 4 med Shallots, chopped
- 4 cloves Garlic, minced
- 2 small Red Thai Chilies
- 2 tbsp Fresh Turmeric Root, peeled and chopped (or 1/2 tsp turmeric powder)
- 2 tbsp Galangal Root, peeled and chopped (or Ginger Root – not quite the same)
- 2 tsp Cilantro Root, chopped (or 1 tsp coriander seeds)
- 1 tsp shrimp past
- Put all of the curry paste ingredients into a blender, starting with the shallots, shrimp paste, garlic and coriander root. Puree for a few minutes, then add the rest of the paste ingredients and puree. This will help get them all crushed down into a nice paste. You may need to tamp down the ingredients every so often until they are all ground up. Set aside.
- In a frying pan, heat some oil and add the seasoned chicken to brown making sure to get the skin nice and crispy. Remove to a large pot. Set aside.
- In the same frying pan as you cooked the chicken, using the oil and chicken fat left over in it, fry the curry paste. Fry until the color changes from a brightish yellow to a nicer yellow brown (maybe a few minutes) remembering to scrape the bottom of the pan every so often.
- Put the curry paste over the chicken in the pot.
- Add in the rest of the ingredients over the chicken and give it a good stir.
- Add in, if needed, water until the liquid just covers the chicken and simmer on medium heat for 40 minutes.
- Add in the Jackfruit, stir, and cook for another 5-10 minutes.
You can serve this with white rice if you eat it, or some stir fried Asian greens.
As a garnish, sprinkle with toasted coconut, slivered almonds and thinly sliced banana.