Sundanese Roasted Chicken

Origin: West Java


  • 1 pc free-range chicken (weighing about 1 kg/2-2.2 lb ), washed
  • 450 ml thick coconut milk
  • 3 pc kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 stem lemon grass, outer leaves discarded, bruished
  • 2 pc salam or bay leaves
  • 5 tbsp Indonesian sweet soya sauce / Kecap Manis

Spice for the paste

  • 2 pc large red chillies, de-seeded, chopped
  • 4-5 pc small red chillies / bird chillies ( optional, if you like it spicy)
  • 10 pc shalllots, chopped
  • 5 gloves garlic, chopped
  • 5 pc candlenuts, roughly chopped or crashed
  • 2 cm fresh ginger
  • 2 cm fresh galangale, bruised
  • 2 cm fresh turmeric or 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • 2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp sugar (optional)

Sundanese Roasted Chicken

Chicken or (Ayam) Bekakak is a traditional dish which originated from the Sundanese ethnic group of West Java regions. For most Sundanese people, especially Pandeglang,
Ayam Bekakak is used to be a special dish which mainly served for ceremonial or festive occasions such as weddings, circumcision and other traditional ceremonies.
In the wedding ceremony, Ayam Bekakak is an important items of the ritual where this dish is specifically served & to be eaten by the bride and groom and not for
invited guests. (Source: Wikipedia)
But now you can find this dish as common menu in most of Sundanese restaurants.
Important Note: Use only the original Kecap Manis. They usually label it completely "Kecap Manis or Ketjap instead of Indonesian sweet soy sauce only".
2. Just shake the bottle downside to prove its authenticity, if the sauce has a thick, almost syrupy consistency then you get it right. If it flows like water then
never think a twice to even try, otherwise you'll ruin the taste!
If you prefer having chicken pieces rather than a whole free-range chicken, please take Ayam Panggang Kecap recipe as an alternative.


  • Cut chicken in half lengthwise along breastbone, leave the backbone uncut.
  • Turn over the chicken and by using the palm of your hand, press down on the center of the backbone until you hear a crack and the chicken is flattened.
  • Prepare and peel off all ingredients for the paste, cut in smaller piece if necessary.
  • 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).
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a wok or big skillet/frying pan over medium heat. (Don't add oil if already added in a blender or just add little bit only). Add the paste.
  • Saute the paste & stirring all the time until the paste fragrant & well cooked.(about 3-5 minutes)
  • Add the chicken, rub the paste around the chicken with a wooden spoon. If necessary pierce the chicken with a fork for the marinade to seep into the chicken.
  • Turn the chicken over, repeat the above step once again until all chicken part is coated with paste. Cook until the chicken becomes harder and it's colour turns to whiten.
  • Add the coconut milk and cook about 15 minutes. Stir occationally.
  • Turn the chicken over and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes until the chicken almost cooked and the sauce is reduced in half.
  • Add the kecap manis and stir to mix.
  • Cook for another 5 minutes until the sauce is driven-off and thickens.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat. Meanwhile preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Transfer the chicken in a Pyrex Glass or baking pan.
  • Adjust the taste of the coating paste. If necessary add salt or kecap manis to taste.
  • Coat the breast side of the chicken with half amount of the paste and bake/roast the chicken for 20 minutes.
  • Roast the chicken.
  • Turn the chicken over so the back side of the chicken is now facing you. Rub the remaining paste on it & bake for another 20 minutes.
  • Serve hot with rice, letuce, cucumber and Sambal Kecap.


  • You can also grill the chicken on charcoal or under electric/gas grill as the common practice used by Indonesians.
Keyword chicken, Indonesia, roasted, Sundanese

popular Indonesian recipes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating