Ayam Golek

Malaysian-style Roast Chicken


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

My Rendang isn't Crispy

My Rendang isn't Crispy

By Zaleha Kadir Olpin

Published 2019

  • About

At Malay wedding ceremonies, roast chicken is usually served to the bride and groom as part of their first meal together as husband and wife. In the early days of our marriage, I cooked this dish for my husband, on top of all the other special Eid dishes, to celebrate our life together, and to remind him that Malaysians also have a roast chicken dish! Hence, this dish holds a special place in my heart. This roast is definitely a crowd pleaser and any leftovers are perfect for making cold sandwiches the next day.


  • 1 small chicken, about 1 kg (2 lb 3 oz)


  • 6 shallots, peeled
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 stalks lemongrass, white part only, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 Tbsp dried chilli paste
  • 7.5-cm (3-inch) knob galangal, peeled and sliced


  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 200 ml ( fl oz) coconut milk
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1–2 tsp sugar


  • Wash the chicken and pat dry. Set aside.
  • Place the ingredients for the marinade in a food processor and process into a fine paste. Do not add any water.
  • Rub half the marinade all over the outside of the chicken. Place the remaining half of the marinade in an airtight container and refrigerate until needed.
  • Place the chicken on a roasting tray and cover with aluminium foil. Set aside for at least 2 hours, or if time allows, overnight, to allow the flavours to be absorbed.
  • When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  • Place the roasting tray with the chicken on the lower rack of the oven. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
  • Prepare the sauce. Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a small pot over medium heat. Add the remaining marinade and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the coconut milk and stir to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and sugar, if needed. Stir to mix, then simmer over low heat until the oil separates.
  • Pour the sauce over the chicken and place under the grill for 3–5 minutes to brown a little. Arrange on a serving plate and serve.