Semur Ayam Medan

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 45 mins

Total Time: 1 hour

Serves: 4


  • 4 skin on bone in chicken thighs (or 6-8 drumsticks)
  • 2 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 50 gram shallot (Indonesian: bawang merah), or onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tomato, thinly sliced
  • 3-5 dried red chilies, seeded
  • 5 cloves (Indonesian: cengkeh)
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick (Indonesian: kayu manis)
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (Indonesian: bubuk pala)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 6 tablespoon Indonesian sweet soy sauce (Indonesian: kecap manis)
  • 1 can (400 ml) coconut milk
  • Spice paste (grind together the following)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 10 gram candlenuts (Indonesian: kemiri), or macadamia nuts
  • 1 inch ginger


  1. Marinate chicken thighs with lime juice, salt, and ground pepper for 15 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, add chicken thighs, skin side down, and cook until the skin is crispy and golden brown. Flip, and cook until the non-skin side is also golden brown. Remove from the skillet. (*)
  3. Add sliced shallot and cook until translucent. Add spice paste and sliced tomato, cook until fragrant.
  4. Return the chicken to the skillet, along with chilies, cloves, and cinnamon stick. Season with ground nutmeg, salt, ground pepper, and kecap manis. Mix well.
  5. Stir in coconut milk. Reduce heat to medium. Once it boils, quickly reduce heat further to medium-low. Simmer until the sauce is reduced by halved and appears rather thick.
  6. Turn off heat, transfer to a serving plate and serve with steamed white rice.


  • (*) We only want to brown the chicken at this stage, so no need to make sure the chicken is fully cooked.

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