266 Braised chicken II

Braised chicken legs with soy sauce
I love the sound of this recipe. A ‘chicken smoor’. In Dutch ‘smoor’ means braised and that’s how I like my bird ;-). Chicken is never a disappointment to me. However, you have to make sure that the meat is cooked-through properly and not overcooked.

I use chicken legs for this recipe, because my daughter loves chicken and can hold the meat easily this way.

Loulou (5) asks me today to make ’chicken legs with spinach’. One of her ‘favorites.’ This sounds like Smoor with chicken from the Cookbook. I make smoor chicken II, because I’ve done the Smoor chicken I already.

This recipe is good for 3 to 4 people and is done in an hour (excluding the time for marinating).

Smoor Chicken II from Beb Vuyk’s Groot Indonesisch kookboek, page 232.


1 small chicken of +/- 800 grams
3 tablespoons of butter


3 tablespoons of chopped onions
2 chopped cloves of garlic
1 unseeded and thinly sliced ​​chili
1 teaspoon of galangal
asem (tamarind) the size of a walnut
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
juice of 1/2 lemon

Cut the chicken into four pieces. Rub the skin with tamarind (asem). Make the tamarind sauce with 2 tablespoons of water and let the chicken marinate in it for at least 1 hour.

Dry the skin and fry the pieces in butter until golden brown. Add in the last minute the onions and garlic. Finish the dish of with a little water, soy sauce and lemon juice. Add the ginger powder, galangal and chili to the sauce. Let it simmer until the chicken is done.

Braised chicken marinade

To marinate the chicken with asem works very well. Asem is tamarind. It’s a sour paste and it helps to make the meat tender. A chicken needs some acid. The juice of half a lemon makes the chicken tender and moist too. If you do not have any tamarind, or it is hard to get, just rub it with a little bit of lemon juice and water.

Chicken dishes are my specialty ;-). You need some patience. Do not think that on a high fire the chicken will be done faster. I fry my chicken with butter. I heat the pan, place butter in it, wait until the froth pulls away. Then you add the chicken legs. Roll the chickens on ever side to just sear them. Make sure you cover the bottom of the pan with the legs, otherwise your butter will burn. You can add some oil to the butter too. That way your butter will not burn too. Now turn your heat down and let the legs simmer for about 40 minutes. Turn them now and then.

Chicken legs

Now you can finish the dish with your soy sauce, water, lemon juice, ginger, galangal and (if you want) chili. It smells delicious in my kitchen. Selamat makan!

Beb Vuyk, best known for her Groot Indonesisch Kookboek (Great Indonesian Cook Book), was much more than a great cook. She belongs to the most important Dutch-Indonesian (Indo) writers and journalists of her time. Check this out.

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