* seeded and minced ** sold in Oriental markets as Trassi or Kapee. It is a must for this dish ***dissolved in 2 tablespoons of hot water In a mortar or food processor, pound or grind the chilis, shallots, shrimp paste, lemon grass, garlic, coriander leaves and stems, salt, Laos powder, and cinnamon to a fine paste. Heat the oil in a wok over medium heat and fry the paste until t is light brown and the aroma has mellowed. Cut the chicken breasts into several large pieces. Add the chicken pieces and stir until they are coated. Turn the heat to high and add the water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium and continue to boil the mixture, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked and tender. Lower heat, uncover and add the tamarind liquid and fish sauce.
Correct the seasoning, adding more salt if necessary.
Leave on low heat until the chicken meat is very dark brown and almost falling apart. If there is not enough gravy at this point, just add water, heat and stir. Serve with rice. This dish is called Gai Tung, and has a very intense and delicious flavor. It is adapted from 'The Original Thai Cookbook' by Jennifer Brennan. Enjoy.