Semur Ayam (Indonesian Stewed Chicken)







One of my favorite comfort foods, Semur Ayam is full of flavors, hearty and filling. I love using drumsticks in this but you can any parts of the chicken, preferably with the bone-in for more flavors.

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Semur Ayam (Indonesian Stewed Chicken)

  • Author: Winny Hayes


This Indonesian style stewed chicken with potatoes is my ultimate comfort foods. So full of flavors and filling.





5 shallots

6 garlic cloves

2 inch ginger

4 candlenuts

Semur ayam:

10 chicken drumsticks

Halved limes and salt to exfoliate chicken, optional

1 tablespoon oil

1 lemongrass stalk, bruised

3 lime leaves

4 whole star anise

1 teaspoon whole cloves

1 cinnamon stick

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon chicken bouillon

1 teaspoon white pepper

Freshly grated nutmeg, about 1/2 teaspoon

2 cups water

1 lb potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces

1/3 cup kecap manis (Indonesian Sweet Soy Sauce)

2 tablespoons oyster sauce

Few dashes worcestershire sauce



  1. Make the paste: Into a mortar and pestle or food processor, blend the shallots, garlic, ginger and candlenuts until it turns into a paste. Set aside
  2. To prepare the chicken (optional step): dip the halved limes into salt and exfoliate the chicken, rinsed thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Into a hot skillet, add the oil and add the bruised lemongrass, lime leaves, star anise, cloves and cinnamon stick. After a few minutes add the paste and cook for 5 minutes, adding more oil if it gets too dry.
  4. Add the chicken pieces into the skillet, add the salt, chicken bouillon, white pepper and nutmeg. Gently toss together. Add the water and let this come to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
  5. After 20 minutes, add the potatoes, kecap manis, oyster sauce and worcestershire sauce. Toss to combine and make sure the potatoes are submerged in the sauce, adding more water if necessary. Cook uncover for another 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Be sure to spoon the sauce over the chicken and potatoes occasionally.
  6. Serve with rice and enjoy!


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