You know that a particular dish like ayam goreng kuning is considered a national dish if it’s included in the coursework (usually means we have to cook a 3-course meal) in your Indonesian highschool Home Economics class ;-)
Turmeric is what turns the chicken yellow. Doing this in class, as vain teenagers, was a pain in the ass. The fresh turmeric root turns your fingernails and fingertips yellow and we’d scrub our hands for ages afterwards to get back to our natural colours.
Yellow fried chicken is something you’d find often on the Indonesian table, along with other staples like perkedel, sate, gado-gado, prawn crackers, various sambals and condiments like pickled cucumber and carrots, roasted garlic peanuts and roasted peanuts with crispy anchovies. It’s also a common side dish you’d find for tumpeng.
I love eating this with my hands (because chicken on bone!), simply with rice, spicy sambal and cucumber slices.
Ayam goreng kuning for 4 people
- 8 chicken wings: 2 wings per person
- 4 chicken drumsticks: 1 drumstick per person
- Marinade and seasoning ingredients below
- Steamed white rice, sambal and cucumber slices for serving
Make the marinade
I use my pestle and mortar for this, adding the minced garlic, ginger and shallots last, and crushing all the “hard” seasoning first.
- 1 whole candlenut
- 1 tablespoon coarse salt
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
- 2 tablespoons minced ginger
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder
- 4-5 shallots, finely diced or minced
- 1.5 litres water
- 2-4 kaffir lime leaves
- a 1-inch piece of fresh turmeric root, peeled
Crush the candlenut, salt, peppercorns and coriander seeds into a rough paste, then add the minced garlic, ginger and shallots and turmeric powder. Place half the paste into the cleaned mixing bowl, add the chicken pieces and the last half of the paste. Mix well to coat the chicken in the paste. Leave to marinate for 2-4 hours.
In a large pot, place the marinated chicken, and add the water and kaffir lime leaves. Bring to the boil and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 10-15 minutes. Don’t overcook the chicken as this will cause it to fall apart.
Drain the chicken and set aside. Drain the solid seasoning and save the stock for soup bases.
Optional crispy coating
- 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
- 1 cup corn starch
- ½ cup garlic powder
- ½ cup onion powder
I use a Ziploc bag for this. Mix together all the powders and toss the chicken in: I sometimes do 2-3 pieces at a time, to ensure an even coating.
In a cast-iron frying pan, heat up an inch of oil over a high fire; I use half coconut oil and half sunflower oil. When the oil is hot, add the first batch of chicken pieces and fry for about 5 minutes on each side (for thinner wings) and 8 minutes on each side (for the thicker thighs) until it’s a golden colour and the skin is crispy. Remove and drain the oil.
Fry in batches until everything is fried up.
Serve with steamed white rice, cucumber and tomato slices, prawn crackers and a dollop of spicy sambal like sambal bawang or sambal balado for a fiery kick or a sambal tomat for a kid-friendly, milder spice kick.