Bugis Chicken

Bugis Chicken

Buginese Chicken; Sulawesi, Indonesia            Andrew Smith UK

Don’t let the exoticism of the recipe’s title scare you off. This has turned out to be one of the most satisfying, versatile, and easy to cook recipes I’ve found in a very long time…and don’t be afraid to substitute ingredients for those you can’t find in your local market. I have listed some alternative substitutes in the recipe.      Experiment!

  • 1 whole village (organic)chicken, skin on 
  • 4 cups chicken stock (or water)
  • additional water to cover the chicken for cooking 
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 12 shallots, (or 3 large onions), peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried shrimp paste ( fish sauce if not available)

Shrimp paste: a subtle contributing base flavor for many recipes. Well worth seeking out!

  • 2     tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2    teaspoons peppercorns, bashed a bit
  • 3    keffir lime leaves; found in most Asian shops 
  • 1    3 inch cinnamon stick, whole
  • 6    whole clove
  • 1    teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ¼    teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (or powdered)
  • 1     teaspoon salt
  • 1     teaspoon palm sugar (or brown or white sugar)
  • 1     tablespoon white vinegar (white wine vinegar is fine)
  • ½    cup  coconut milk (available canned or in carton)

Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a pot large enough to hold the whole chicken and add all the ingredients except the chicken and coconut milk. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the chicken and coconut milk and enough water to cover the chicken. Bring back to a boil, stirring now and again, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered, turning the chicken over once about half way through the cooking time (about 30 minutes). The total cooking time is approximately 1 hour, depending on the size of the chicken.

Lift the chicken from the pot, running the handle of a large wooden spoon through the cavity and set aside covered with foil. Turn up the heat and continue cooking the stock until it is reduced by half.

Another option, is to place the chicken, breast side up, in a roasting pan with 1 cup of the stock, and brown in the center of the oven at 400F/205c while the stock is reducing.   Keep an eye on it, as it browns quickly!

Serve the chicken with plenty of reduced stock spooned over it along with braised vegetable and jasmine ( plain or yellow) rice cooked with kefir lime leaves (if available) .  Boiled potatoes are another option.

Also makes great sandwiches!  Use a crisp sliced toasted baguette dipped into warmed stock, topped with sliced chicken slathered with more warmed stock, topped with shredded lettuce or pickled carrot and daikon radish!

Pickled Carrot & Daikon Radish

  •  1   carrot, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks ( Japanese mandolin is handy for matchsticks.)
  • 1   pound daikon radish, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
  • 1  red or green chili, sliced thinly on the diagonal (optional)
  • 1   teaspoon salt
  • 2   teaspoons sugar

Place the matchsticks in a bowl. Sprinkle with salt and sugar and knead  for a few minutes with your hands to release the water from the vegetables. Rinse in colander and squeeze out any excess water. Place on kitchen towel to dry.


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4  cups distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup warm water

Combine the ingredients and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the vegetables and mix well. Store in a glass container and refrigerate for up to one month.

For serving on a sandwich, squeeze out excess brine and spread over sandwich contents.


Pickled Daikon & Sandwich

Pickled Daikon & Sandwich


Yellow Rice (Indonesia)

  • 1      cup long grain or jasmine rice
  • 1     cup Turmeric water or 1 teaspoon turmeric powder

              Turmeric water:  

  • 2 inch turmeric root, peeled and grated (wear gloves! It really stains.
  • 1 cup boiled water

             Pour the water over the grated turmeric and set aside to cool. Strain before adding to rice.

  • 1     garlic clove, crushed
  • 1    stalk lemon grass; bashed with knife blade or stone mortar
  • 1    3 inch slice galangal (available in Asian Markets) or ginger root
  • 3    kaffir lime leaves (available in Asian markets)
  • 1/2   teaspoon salt

Stock or water to a level of 1/2  inch above the surface of the rice.

Rinse the rice until the water runs clear and place in rice steamer bowl. Add the turmeric water or powder, garlic, lemon grass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, and salt. Add water to a level of 1/2 inch above the surface of the rice.Stir to combine and steam until cooked.  Allow to sit for 15 minutes and then fluff with rice paddle or fork, removing the garlic, lemon grass, galangal, and lime leaves before serving.


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