Padangnese Grilled Chicken

Origin: Padang, West Sumatra Province


  • 1 pc free-range chicken (weighing about 1kg/2-2.2 lb), cut in half lengthway
  • 800 ml thick coconut milk
  • 5 pc kaffir-lime leaves
  • 2 stem lemon grass, outer leaves discarded, bruished
  • 2 pc salam or bay leaves
  • 1 pc turmeric leaf (optional)

Spice for the paste

  • 4 pc large red chillies, de-seeded, chopped
  • 10 pc shallots, chopped
  • 3 gloves garlic, chopped
  • 5 pc candlenuts, roughly chopped or crashed
  • 4 cm fresh ginger
  • 4 cm fresh turmeric or 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 3 cm galangale, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin (optional)
  • 2 tsp salt

Padangnese Grilled Chicken

Here are many varieties of Indonesian poultry dishes. A famous variant among them is "Singgang Ayam" or "Grilled Chicken ala Padang" which's originated in Padang, the capital city of West Sumatra Province. This is one of my favorite recipes – A special New Year's Eve Dinner menu for the whole family & close friends.
Tips: If possible, choose the young chicken for the better taste. There are two ways of cutting method, concerning the serving's appearance. If you want to have a whole chicken to be served, then cut chicken in half lengthwise along backbone, leave the breast uncut. Tie up the chicken together with kitchen string. This way you will get a lovely roasted chicken at the end (see picture). If appearance is not your concern, then just cut the chicken in half lengthway on both sides. The advantage of this method : The chicken is much easier to be handled & no need extra attention. Whatever methods should you prefer, the taste should not be different. Good luck!!


  • Put all ingredients for the paste in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. (If necessery add a little bit oil to help the blending process).
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a wok or largish saucepan. (Don't add oil if already added in a blender).
  • Stir fry the paste, lemon grass, kaffir-lime leaf and bay leaf in a large skillet/shallow pan. Stirring all the time until fragrant.
  • Pour in the coconut milk and bring to boil over a medium heat. Stirring constantly.
  • Add the chicken, cook the breast side over medium-high heat for 20 minutes.
  • Turn the chicken around, then cook the other side for another 20 minutes. Take the chicken out and set aside.
  • Simmer the sauce over a low heat until the coconut milk is little bit driven off and the sauce becomes thicker.
  • Adjust the seasoning, add salt if necessary. Remove from heat.
  • Meanwhile prepare the charcoal for grilled chicken, otherwise preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) for roasted one.
  • Pour the sauce evenly on the chicken, so that all surfaces are well coated with the sauce.
  • Grill the chicken for barbecue. Or roast in a pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes.
  • Serve hot with rice, salad and "Green Chilli Sambal" (if you like it spicy!!).
Keyword coconut sauce, indonesian chicken dish, padangnese chicken

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