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Monday, December 3, 2012

Pekan's Roasted Chicken~ Ayam Golek Pekan - MFF Pahang #1

Ayam Golek literally means, rolled around chicken. Something like rotisserie chicken. Pekan is the royal town of Pahang, of which is the current Prime Minister’s hometown. So, this is Pekan’s Rotisserie Chicken.

I got this recipe from Pekan Municipal’s website. It’s a recipe from Pahang’s Palace, from the Sultanah’s cookbook. There are lots of recipes there, do visit it and see if there's anything you like.

If you like roasted chicken, moist roasted chicken with an aromatic coconutty gravy, do give this a try. It seems like you need to do a few things to get it done, but it’s actually quite easy. With just 4 major steps, don’t talk about peeling and brushing ok. There’s no sautéing, no browning and no spit fire involved. Oh yes, and I didn’t impale the chicken. LOL.

The 4 major steps are.
1. Blend the ingredients.
2. Boil the chicken in gravy.
3. Roast the chicken
4. Reduce the gravy.

Ayam Golek Pekan
Recipe modified by : WendyinKK
Original source: Pahang State Palace

1 whole chicken (1.5-1.8kg)
10 shallots, peeled
5 cloves garlic, peeled
10 dried red chillies, seeds removed
20gm ginger (clean weight)
20gm galangal (lengkuas, clean weight)
10gm turmeric root (kunyit hidup, clean weight)
1 tsp fenugreek (halba)
1 candlenut (buah keras)
2 lemongrass, smashed
300ml coconut milk
50gm tamarind pulp (with seeds) + 1 cup water
*1 cup water or more
1 tsp salt
3-4 tsp sugar (may need more, I used 4)
Banana leaf for lining the tray

1. Soak tamarind pulp with water for 10 minutes. Rub the tamarind pulp to wash the seeds clean. Strain the tamarind water and discard the remnants. Save the tamarind water.
2. Place tamarind water, shallots, garlic, chilli, galangal, ginger, turmeric and candlenut into a blender and blend until fine. Pour this into a wok.
3. Put lemongrass, fenugreek, coconut milk, 1 cup water, salt and sugar into the wok. Bring to a boil.
4. Place chicken into the boiling gravy (breast side down) and bring to a boil. (gravy should be half way up the chicken, if not add more water) Lower to medium low heat, cover with lid and cook for 15 minutes. Flip the chicken to back side down and cook for another 15 minutes, this time, watching closely so that it doesn’t burn. Bathe the top with gravy and try to scoop some of the boiling gravy into the cavity.
5. Line baking tray with banana leaf (about A4size, can use broken pieces, it’s ok). Remove chicken from the wok, let the gravy drip off and place onto the lined tray.
6. Bake at 180(fan)/200C for 30 minutes (I didn’t preheat the oven) or until the chicken is beautifully golden.
7. Meanwhile, reduce the gravy until it looks thick like satay sauce. Taste it, if it’s too sour, add more sugar (I had about 1 cup)
8. Remove chicken from oven and generously brush on the reduced gravy (I brushed 2/3 of the gravy).
9. Return chicken to oven and bake at the same temperature for another 10 minutes.
the amount of gravy I got before brushing onto the chicken

It tasted almost like Ayam Percik, only much much better! Our household actually hates chicken breast, but this Ayam Golek Pekan has tender juicy breasts : ). It looked just like in the source. Something not usual in roast chicken. Maybe it's due to the boiling. My husband told me to make this again someday, haha, someday I will.

How I served it? I didn’t chop it, I don’t want to mess with the baked gravy coating. I broke the limbs with scissors and placed them whole on the serving platter. Tore the breast out and thickly shredded it. And I placed the remaining gravy next to the shredded breast for dipping.

You can use preferred chicken parts with similar weight. Prepare raw gravy without *water. Boil the chicken in gravy for 10 minutes. Bake for 20 minutes. Reduce gravy and then brush on gravy and bake for another 10 minutes. But a whole chicken gives more wow factor : )
I tried marinating the parts for 2 hours, bad move. The chicken flesh turned slightly mushy due to being in contact with the raw ginger and galangal for too long.

I am submitting this to Malaysian Food Fest Pahang Month Hosted by Abbygail of Abbygail's Kitchen


  1. I never try this method to cook/grill a chicken. Will try it soon.
    Thanks for sharing :)

  2. Sedapnya! I think the fenugreek makes it taste more like percik. I love your gravy in the measuring cup, thick with good colour and very nice to put over white rice :)

  3. hi wendy! how r u? lama tak borak kat sini... malas plus xde masa nak aktif mcm dulu.. cuti2 ok la lagi.. ayam tuh sungguh menggeramkan aku laaa... harus cuba sbb aku duk negeri pahang berhampiran pekan.. kekekekeke

  4. I think I shall try this :) looks so good...drooling now :)

  5. Wow that looks amazing, and hey, it reminds me of the sambal roasted chicken I learned at-Sunrice. We cut the chicken into half first, so that makes it easier and prettier to present. But your method sounds simpler and more practical, so I am going to try!

  6. That looks really amazing!! And I can imagine how juicy and tender it is! I might try this with Chicken Marylands instead.

  7. I can imagine the taste with all the spices !
    .. am I hallucinating or what.... can even smell from the com.... !

  8. The ingredients for the paste sounds like can make it as a stand alone sambal. The chicken look so moist and yummy....ngry.

  9. This is heaven! Yup, for a chickenlover like me, your ayam golek can make me tergolek!!! Lol...

    Really salivating here, I'd better leave! Love the flavourful, my fav style! ;)

  10. Wow Wendy! This is chicken fit for royalty!! :)

  11. Hi Wendy, sedapnya! I wish I could try this recipe, but it is a bit hard for me to look for those ingredients......I love this type of chicken so much!

  12. without frying the chilli, will it have a raw chilli taste?

  13. Pauline,
    It won't have a raw smell.

  14. I am going to try this recipe sounds good! If u cut a while chicken in half lengthways so the chicken is separated into half, how long do you cook it for in the wok and how Long to bake? Oh and do u need to dry the blended paste first or just boil everything? It sounds delicious

  15. Lilian,
    If you're using chicken halves, maybe then 15 minutes each half.
    Just bake it until it looks golden, judge it visually, it will be around the same time, maybe slightly lesser only

  16. Also du need to saute the spice paste first? If for a spatchcock chicken do I need to add water to spice paste?

  17. Lilian,
    1. Nope, no sauteing as per the original recipe source.
    2. If you prefer to slather on the spice paste and bake, then there's no need to add water. But if you prefer to follow the recipe and boil, bake and apply the reduced gravy, then I suggest you use water as per the recipe.


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