How to make a proper chicken rendang

Malaysian food writer Bee Yinn Low on the traditional – and controversial – dish

The chicken should be soft and tender to the bite, and the spices lend intense aromas and flavours to the dish

The chicken should be soft and tender to the bite, and the spices lend intense aromas and flavours to the dish

Thu, Apr 5, 2018, 12:43

   
  • Serves: 4
  • Cooking Time: 60 mins
  • Course: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Thai/South-East Asian

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pound boneless and skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into cubes
  • 1/3 cup cooking oil
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • 3 star anise
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 1 lemongrass, white part only, pounded and cut into strips
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves, bruised
  • 5 tablespoons toasted grated coconut (kerisik)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Spice Paste:
  • 6 shallots
  • 1-inch piece galangal
  • 3 stalks lemongrass, white part only
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1-inch piece ginger, peeled
  • 10 dried chilies (chili arbol), seeded

Method

Chicken Rendang is a slow-cooked and stewed chicken dish, with a spice paste , coconut milk and toasted coconut flakes. The chicken should be soft and tender to the bite - not crispy despite what a Masterchef judge might say - and the spices lend intense aromas and flavours to the dish.

1. Put all the ingredients for the spice paste in a food processor. Blend well.

2. Heat the oil in a skillet, add the spice paste, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, and cardamom pods and stir-fry them until aromatic.

3. Add the chicken and lemongrass, stir to combine well with the spices.

4. Add the coconut milk, water, and simmer on medium heat, stirring frequently until the chicken is almost cooked.

5. Add the kaffir lime leaves, toasted coconut, stir to blend well with the chicken. Lower the heat to low, cover the lid, and slowly simmer for 30 minutes or until the chicken is tender and the liquid has dried up. Add more sugar and salt to taste to taste. Serve immediately with some rice.

You can find more Malaysian recipes on Low’s website, Rasa Malaysia.