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Ayam Goreng (Fried Chicken)

Posting Date: 03/16/16

Ayam Goreng (Fried Chicken)

Ayam Goreng (Fried Chicken) is popular in Indonesia. Ayam means chicken in Indonesian language. The chicken is fried and thus, it is called ayam goreng since goreng means fried. There are several types of Ayam Goreng (Fried Chicken) in Indonesia and each region seems to have its own version of it. One of them is called Ayam Goreng Kalasan (Kalasan Fried Chicken Marinated in Coconut Milk) and it originated from Kalasan in Central Java in Indonesia. The difference between Ayam Goreng Kalasan and the regular Ayam Goreng is the liquid used to marinate and boil the chicken. Ayam Goreng Kalasan uses coconut milk to marinate and boil the chicken. The regular Ayam Goreng uses water to marinate and boil the chicken. For Ayam Goreng Kalasan recipe, click here. Like American fried chicken, everyone has its own recipe to make Indonesian fried chicken. Each restaurant has its own recipe and uses their secret spices which makes it unique than the other restaurants and thus, people visit that specific restaurant just to get it. My family used to go to 3 specific Fried Chicken restaurants regularly because each of them had its own special way in making the chicken and we liked the taste of the chicken. The recipe I use for this Ayam Goreng comes from my mom and thus, it might be different than other people' recipe.

Unlike American fried chicken, Indonesian fried chicken is not coated with batter before frying. To make it, the chicken is first boiled in the spices and water, so it is marinated during boiling. It is boiled until the chicken is cooked and the liquid becomes half. The liquid is then drained and the chicken is fried in vegetable oil. By frying it, it will be crispy. Because of the residual liquid that might stay with the chicken, it will splatter the oil during frying. So, I always use splatter screen to reduce the splattering. You can try to pat the chicken dry with paper towel before frying. I prefer not to do that because I don't want to wipe away the spices from the chicken.

In the recipe, I use chicken drumsticks and wings. You can certainly use other parts of the chicken (breasts and thighs). Drumsticks are normally on sale in my grocery store. That's why I use it in the recipe. I found this recipe made good chicken wings. So, instead of serving Buffalo Chicken Wings while watching American football games, why not impress your friends by using this recipe to cook the wings?

In Java, Ayam Goreng is served with warm rice and fresh vegetables (slices of cucumber and tomatoes and cabbage). The fresh vegetables are served with Sambal Bajak or Sambal Terasi on the side. Sambal Bajak and Sambal Terasi are one type of Indonesian chili paste and popular in Java. That's why you can find a ready made Sambal Bajak or Sambal Terasi sold in a jar in grocery stores in Indonesia. You might be able to find it in some of Asian stores in US if it has Indonesian aisle in the store. Some restaurants in Java also serve sweet soy sauce as a condiment to dip the chicken in it. Click here for more information on Sweet Soy Sauce. Instead of regular steamed rice, Ayam Goreng can also be served with Nasi Uduk (Rice Cooked in Coconut Milk), Nasi Kuning (Indonesian Yellow Rice), or Nasi Ketan Kuning Serundeng (Yellow Glutinous Rice with Coconut Topping).


  • 1 medium size shallot, quartered (it will be processed in food processor)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, halved (it will be processed in food processor)
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 chicken drumsticks, 6 chicken wings (you can use other parts of chicken, such as breast and thigh instead)
  • vegetable oil


  1. Put shallots, garlic, coriander powder and turmeric powder in a food processor. Process the spices until they are finely chopped and become paste.
  2. Place 2.5 cups of water in a pot that is big enough to fit the chicken pieces. Make sure the pot is not too big because the chicken pieces need to be covered with water. If you use a pot that is too big, you will need to use more water to cover the chicken. If you have to add a lot more water, it means you will need to use more spices. Otherwise, the chicken will taste bland.
  3. Put spice paste, salt, pepper, and bay leaves in the pot. Stir the water to make sure the spices are mixed.
  4. Add chicken pieces to the pot and turn on the heat to medium high heat. Let the liquid boiling uncovered in the pot. Once the liquid is boiling, reduce the heat to medium. Stir the liquid and flip the chicken from time to time to make sure all chicken pieces get in contact with the spices and liquid. Continue cooking the chicken until it is cooked and the liquid is reduced by almost half.
  5. Once chicken is cooked and liquid has been reduced by almost half, drain the liquid. Set the chicken aside on a colander so that more liquid can drain. Let it cool down.
  6. Once chicken is cooled, heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Make sure you have splatter screen ready since the oil will be splattering during frying. If you prefer, you can pat dry the chicken using paper towel before frying it. This will reduce the amount of splattering. However, it will take away the spices sticking to the chicken. That's why I prefer not to do it. Fry the chicken and place the splatter screen on top of your frying pan. You may have to fry the chicken pieces in several batches so that the oil temperature will not drop too much. Fry the chicken until it is golden brown. Once done, place the chicken on a paper lined with paper towel to absorb the residual oil. Continue frying remaining chicken.
  7. Serve the chicken while it is still warm.

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