Chicken Rendang: A Classic Rendang Recipe

chicken rendangChicken rendang – a poultry take on a traditional favourite

Chicken rendang is a great option for those who don’t eat beef but enjoy the deliciously complex flavours of traditional rendang. The ingredients and methods are quite similar, allowing for a dish that retains much of its rendang identity with a slight, but nevertheless delicious, twist to its flavour.

Chicken rendang also requires less cooking time compared to its beef rendang counterpart, making it a much less time-consuming option to prepare. Some patience is still required though as it still takes roughly 90 minutes to cook, but the effort is well worth it. Making chicken rendang is also not as daunting as it is often made out to be. Enjoy!

chicken rendang
  • 1 whole chicken, cut into 12 portions
  • 285g red onions, peeled
  • 130g shallots, peeled
  • 25g garlic, peeled
  • 12g turmeric root
  • 80g old ginger
  • 33g galangal
  • 5g kaffir lime leaves (about 3 leaves, roughly ripped)
  • 20g lemongrass, roots only
  • 115g coconut sugar (gula Melaka)
  • 105g rehydrated & blended dried chilies (cili boh)
  • 12g lemongrass, bashed
  • 16g turmeric leaves (about 1-2 leaves)
  • 1kg coconut milk
  • 90g kerisik
  • 2 tbsp salt


  1. Blend red onions, shallots, garlic, turmeric root, ginger, galangal and lemongrass roots until smooth.

chicken rendang

chicken rendang

  1. Chiffonade turmeric leaves.

chicken rendang

  1. In a large, heavy pot, turn on the heat to high and add blended mixture, blended and rehydrated dried chilies, coconut milk, salt, kaffir lime leaves, bashed lemongrass and coconut sugar. Stir to mix evenly.
  2. Bring mixture to a boil then turn down the heat to simmer. Add in chicken and stir to coat evenly.
chicken rendang
Add chicken and simmer
  1. Keep stirring as it simmers until the sauce thickens and reduces significantly but is still wet. The whole process will take roughly 90 minutes, so be patient.
chicken rendang
Keep stirring
  1. Add half the turmeric leaves and kerisik. Stir for another 5 minutes.
  2. Once ready, place chicken rendang in a serving dish and decorate with balance of turmeric leaves. Serve with lemang, nasi impit, rice, or soft, white bread.
Extra tips
  1. If you plan to keep your chicken rendang for future meals, allow it to cool completely (uncovered) overnight before storing it in an airtight container. Unlike beef rendang, chicken rendang does not last as long and can be kept frozen for about a week.
  2. Find chicken rendang easy peasy? Why not level up and try making beef rendang next?

Chicken rendang is great for when you’re craving that rendang goodness but can’t commit sufficient time to prepare the beef version. It’s also a good option for first time rendang makers. Give it a go and don’t forget to tag us with #butterkicap with pictures of your dish!

Butterkicap Team

We're just a small group of friends who love food, culture and Malaysia. We saw the rise of mediocre food, deteriorating relationships and missed the good old days of Malaysia where food was good, homes were warmer and full of friends and family. So we rolled up our sleeves, and made Butterkicap with the hope that it will bring people and flavors home.

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