Semur Chicken I

Acid and smoor chicken go well together. The asem paste ensures the chicken’s tenderness. The longer you let the chicken marinade in the asem the more tender it gets. I just got, exactly as in the Beb Vuyk’s recipe, one whole chicken and cut it into four large pieces. I do like the big chunks, it looks so ‘real’. But maybe it’s easier to get chicken wings or other even sized chicken pieces at the supermarket that fit better in the pan together.

Smoor of chicken #265 I from Beb Vuyk’s Groot Indonesisch Kookboek, page 231.


1 small chicken +/- 800 grams
2 tablespoons butter


3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 chopped clove of garlic
a piece of asem the size of a walnut
1 tablespoon soy sauce
lemon juice

Cut the chicken into 4 pieces, rub it with a paste of asem, salt and pepper, mix with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water. Let her marinate for at least 1 hour. Heat the butter until brown, fry the chicken pieces on all sides until golden brown. Fry the onions and garlic with them until they are yellow. Make the gravy with a little water, soy sauce and lemon juice and cook the chicken until the meat is done.

My mother taught me how to make chicken – she is a star at it. The key is to make sure that your butter does not burn. Be sure that your chicken wings or shoulders or whatever part you uses covers up the bottom of your pan completely.

Make sure you butter heats up slowly, put the chicken in the pan as the foam of the butter begins to pull away. That’s always the perfect moment to fry your meat (all kinds of meat). Do not heat the butter too fiercely. Roast the chicken briefly over high heat on both sides. Immediately turn down the heat and let it cook slowly. It takes a while until chicken legs are tender; at least 45 minutes (turning occasionally).

This dish is delicious with a fresh salad or sajoer lodeh (I think I like everything with a sajoer lodeh).


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