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Rendang Ayam (Chicken Rendang)

Posting Date: 07/23/17

Rendang Ayam (Chicken Rendang)

Rendang Ayam (Chicken Rendang) is the chicken version of beef rendang. Rendang originated in Padang. You can find it in Padang restaurants in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. Rendang is very popular in Indonesia. It takes time to make rendang but it is worth it because it is so delicious. For the beef version of rendang, click here. Traditionally the dish is made using red chili peppers. However, since I sometimes cannot find them in my Asian stores, I substitute it with red chili pepper flakes. This dish goes well with rice because the rice soaks up the sauce and makes it flavorful.

This recipe serves for 3 people.


  • For spice paste: 3 small shallots, halved
  • For spice paste: 4 cloves of garlic, halved
  • For spice paste: 1.5 teaspoons crushed red chili pepper flakes. If you like it very hot, you can use more red chili pepper flakes.
  • For spice paste: 1" fresh ginger, peeled and halved
  • For spice paste: 1 lemongrass, smashed the white part only with the back of your knife and sliced the white part. Discard the green part of the lemon grass. If you cannot find lemongrass in your grocery stores or Asian stores, you can use 1/2 tablespoon lemongrass paste. Regular grocery stores now sell lemongrass paste.
  • For spice paste: 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1.5 tablespoons coconut or vegetable oil
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves. If you cannot find kaffir lime leaves in Asian stores, you can substitute it with the zest of 1 lime.
  • 6 pieces of chicken drumsticks. You can use other parts of chicken, such as wings, breasts, or thighs. If you use other parts of chicken, adjust the quantity since you want to make sure you have enough spice paste to cover the chicken. If you use breasts or thighs, you should use 4 pieces only. Since wings are smaller, you can use more than 6 pieces.
  • 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
  • pinch of pepper or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons sugar or to taste
  • 400 ml of coconut milk


  1. Place shallots, garlic, crushed red chili pepper flakes, ginger, lemongrass, and turmeric powder in a food processor. Process them until they become smooth paste.
  2. Turn on the stove to medium high heat. Add coconut oil or vegetable oil into a deep pot. Deep pot is used to reduce splattering to the outside of the pot. You can also use splattering screen. Add spice paste into the pot. Saute it until it becomes aromatic. Add bay leaves, kaffir lime leaves, and chicken into the pot. Stir fry the chicken until it is coated with spice paste and becomes yellow. Add salt, sugar, pepper, and coconut milk into the pot. Stir the pot from time to time until liquid is boiling. Reduce the heat to medium. Stir the pot from time to time and cook until coconut milk thickens and the chicken is cooked through, i.e. the internal temperature of the chicken should be 165 deg F and the juice coming out of the chicken when a knife is inserted is clear. Add more salt, sugar, or pepper if necessary. Stir to mix the additional seasoning. Turn off the heat. Some people like dry rendang with almost no liquid at all. If you like it dry, cook it until the liquid has dried up but make sure you stir it from time to time so that chicken and spice paste are not burning at the bottom. I like to have a little sauce so that the rice can soak up the sauce. Because of that, I normally cook it until coconut milk has mostly been reduced but I still have some left as sauce.
  3. Discard bay leaves and kaffir lime leaves. Transfer to serving platter and serve it with warm rice.

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