Ayam goreng is the name applied to various Indonesian and Malaysian dishes of chicken deep-fried in coconut oil. Ayam goreng literally means “fried chicken” in Indonesian and Malay. This South-east Asian version of fried chicken has no batter coating, and is richer in spices.
Marination & Spices
Nasi bungkus Padang with Padang style ayam goreng.The spice mixtures vary across regions, but primarily consist of a combination of; ground shallot, garlic, Indian bay leaves, turmeric, lemongrass, tamarind juice, candlenut, galangal, salt and sugar.
The chicken pieces should be marinated in the spice mixture for several hours / overnight before frying, so that the chicken absorbs the spices. The chicken is then deep-fried in coconut oil. Ayam goreng is usually served with;
- steamed rice, sambal terasi (chili with shrimp paste)
- or sambal kecap (sliced chili and shallot in sweet soy sauce) as a dipping sauce or condiment and slices of cucumber and tomato for garnish.
Fried tempeh and tofu might be added as side dishes.
- Chicken, cut into serving pieces — 2 1/2 to 3 pounds
- Garlic, minced — 3 or 4 cloves
- Coriander — 1 tablespoon
- Turmeric — 2 teaspoons
- Bay leaves — 2
- Salt and pepper — to season
- Water or coconut water (see Notes) — 2 cups
- Oil for deep frying
The Cooking Method
- In a large bowl, mix the chicken with the garlic, coriander, turmeric, bay leaves, salt and pepper.
- Refrigerate and marinate for at least one hour.
- Add the chicken, marinade and water or coconut water to a large pot and bring to a boil over medium-high flame.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced and the chicken is cooked through.
- Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside to cool
- Heat about 2 inches of oil in a deep fryer, skillet or wok.
- Add the chicken pieces and fry until golden brown and crispy on the outside, turning occasionally to cook brown on all sides.
- Drain the chicken on paper towels.
- Skim any crumbs or crispy bits from the oil and sprinkle them over the chicken as a garnish.
Serve hot or at room temperature with steamed rice and a simple salad.
There are many variations to the basic recipe and Ayam goreng kuning, tinted a rich yellow (kuning) with turmeric, is one of the more popular.