Apologies to y’all who doesn’t read Bahasa – the title literally translate as Chicken cooked in honey and sweet soy. A short Bahasa tutorial – Ayam means chicken, masak means cooked, madu means honey and kicap means soy. And that’s basically some of the core ingredients you need to make this ultra super duper delicious chicken dish with or without chilli.
“Just look at that dark, dark skin and dripping sauce on your fingers when you held them. Even before tasting it, you know that this is going to be a start of a damn good dinner!”
Let’s stop feasting on the chickens and get on with the introduction, shall we? Rather popular in most Malaysian kitchens, I first tasted this dish at a Malay wedding kenduri in Malaysia many years ago. This dish was served on a large beautiful white porcelain plate but it wasn’t the plate that got my attention – it was that well-toned dark piece of chicken drumstick and the glossy gooey sweet spicy sauce that made my eyes salivate (oops, did I just say eyes? lol). Boy o boy, I was never this much attracted to a chicken before, let alone, just the legs.
The addition of spices like cinnamon stick and star anise add a wonderful depth of flavour to this dish and not superficially depending on the sauces and seasoning. Salivating yet? Let’s get on with the recipe …
Ayam Masak Kicap Madu
5-6 pieces chicken drumstick, rinsed and pat dry
1 cup corn flour, for dusting
scallion, green parts (for garnish)
1 large onion, roughly chop
5 cloves garlic, roughly chop
2 shallots, roughly chop
thumb size ginger, roughly chop
1 red chilli, de-seeded (optional) *
1 cinnamon stick
1-2 star anise
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce) *
salt, to taste
sugar, to taste
1. Heat oil in a pan. Dust the drumsticks with corn flour – ensure it’s well coated. When the oil is hot, slowly drop the drumsticks into the pan to deep fry for about 10-15mins or until brown. If you need to, work by batches because you don’t want to over crowd the pan. Remove and drain them on kitchen towel and set aside.
2. Blend onion, garlic, shallots, ginger and red chilli into a paste-like texture. Heat up 1 tbsp oil in a wok. Mix in the blended ingredients and fry till fragrant. Then add the cinnamon stick, star anise and cloves. Fry for about 2 mins, then add water. Bring to boil and add the sauces & seasoning. Mix well and taste – adjust seasoning and sauces according to the texture and taste you desire.
3. Slowly add the drumsticks into the wok and mix well to coat the sauce around them. Lower the heat and simmer them for about 20-30mins or until cooked through. Turn the drumstick every 10mins so it’s evenly cooked through.
4. With kitchen tongs, pull out the drumsticks and place them on serving plate. Then slowly pour the sauces over them. Garnish with some chopped scallions or chilli. Serve hot with warm steamed rice.
1. If you prefer the dish to be more spicy, you may replace red chilli with cili padi
2. Kecap manis can be found at Asian Grocers. It is different from soya sauce – where soya sauce are salty by nature and watery, kecap manis is sweet and gooey.