Ayam Cincane (Indonesian grilled chicken in spicy coconut sauce) Recipe

Ayam Cincane is an Indonesian grilled chicken dish with a spicy coconut sauce. This dish originates from the eastern part of Kalimantan and is often served at big events, such as weddings. In addition, this chicken dish can also be found at some food stalls or restaurants. The grilled chicken is served with a spicy coconut sauce and to add some freshness, lime juice can be sprinkled on top of the chicken.

Ayam Cincane, Indonesian grilled chicken in spicy coconut sauce

How to make Ayam Cincane

The coconut sauce of this Ayam Cincane can be either grilled with the chicken or served separately. I prefer to serve the sauce separately, letting our Indonesian cooking workshop guests decide themselves how spicy they’d like the dish.

Ayam Cincane, Indonesian grilled chicken with spicy coconut sauce ingredients

To prepare Ayam Cincane first pat the chicken legs dry with kitchen paper. Then, rub the chicken legs with lime juice and salt and pepper, and set aside to marinate. Next, make the spice paste (bumbu).


Roughly chop shallots, garlic cloves, chilies, galangal and ginger. Combine with fermented shrimp paste (trassi) and palm sugar (gula djawa) in a food processor and pulse until a smooth paste forms (bumbu).

Ayam Cincane spice paste (bumbu) with lemongrass and salam

Heat oil in a non-stick wok or skillet and fry the spice paste for 5 minutes. Add lemongrass stalks, kaffir lime leaves and salam leaves and fry for 2 more minutes. Add chicken legs, mix well with the spice paste, and fry for a couple minutes until browned on all sides.

Ayam Cincane fried chicken legs in spice paste (bumbu) with lemongrass, salam and kaffir lime leaves

Add coconut milk and water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 45 minutes.

Ayam Cincane fried chicken legs with spice paste (bumbu), herbs and coconut milk

Remove the chicken legs from the wok/ skillet. Heat a grill and grill the chicken legs for 5 – 10 minutes until golden brown. In the meantime reduce the sauce a bit until it has thickened.

Grilling Ayam Cincane chicken legs on grill

Serve Ayam Cincane grilled chicken legs with reduced coconut sauce, lime wedges, and optionally steamed white rice (nasi putih).

Serving Ayam Cincane with spicy coconut sauce

Selamat makan!



Ingredients

For the chicken:

  • 4 chicken legs

  • 2 limes, juiced

  • 2 lemongrass stalks (sereh), outer leaves removed and bruised

  • 3 kaffir lime leaves (daun djeruk perut)

  • 3 salam leaves (daun salam)

  • 250 ml/ 1 cup coconut milk

  • 125 ml/ 0,5 cup water

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Vegetable oil (coconut, peanut, rice)

For the spice paste (bumbu):

  • 3 shallots

  • 5 garlic cloves

  • 5 large red (Spanish) chilies (lombok merah)

  • 3 Thai bird’s eye chilies (cabe rawit)

  • 4 cm/ 1.6 inch galangal (laos)

  • 4 cm/ 1.6 inch ginger (djahé)

  • 1 teaspoon fermented shrimp paste (trassi)

  • 1 tablespoon palm sugar (gula djawa)

Instructions

  • Rub the chicken legs with lime juice and salt and pepper, set aside.

  • Prepare the spice paste (bumbu). Roughly chop shallots, garlic cloves, chilies, galangal and ginger. Combine with fermented shrimp paste (trassi) and palm sugar (gula djawa) in a food processor and pulse until a smooth paste forms (bumbu).

  • Heat oil in a non-stick wok or skillet and fry the spice paste for 5 minutes. Add lemongrass stalks, kaffir lime leaves and salam leaves and fry for 2 more minutes.

  • Add chicken legs, mix well with the spice paste, and fry for a couple minutes until browned.

  • Add coconut milk and water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 45 minutes.

  • Remove the chicken legs from the wok/ skillet. Heat a grill and grill the chicken legs for 5 – 10 minutes until golden brown.

  • In the meantime reduce the sauce a bit until it has thickened.

  • Serve grilled chicken legs with the reduced coconut sauce, lime wedges, and steamed white rice (nasi putih).

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