Rendang is a tasty and flavourful Indonesian dish that is kind of like a creamy spiced coconut chicken stew. This Chicken Rendang also known as Rendang Ayam, is simple and delicious and ready in under an hour.
Considered by many to be the most delicious meal in the world, a Rendang is a mix of chicken or beef, spices and coconut milk, cooked low and slow.
The slow cooking process, until the liquid has almost disappeared, means this stew is absolutely full of flavour. You don't want to rush it, but it is worth the wait.
What is Rendang?
Rendang is an Indonesian spicy meat, most commonly using beef, but other meats are used, such as lamb, goat or chicken, like we have used here. The dish originated in West Sumatra, Indonesia and has spread across Indonesia to the cuisines of many Southeast Asian countries.
Although many people describe Rendang as a curry, it is actually a stew. It is not considered a curry in Indonesia as it is richer in flavour and has less liquid.
An online poll by CNN, of over 35,000 people, chose Rendang as the number 1 most delicious dish of the world.
Why you will love it
- Less than 400 calories per portion
- Delicious way to enjoy chicken
- Amazing homemade takeaway
- Easy to make spicy or mild
- Tastes even better the next day
How to make chicken rendang - Step by step
One: Make the paste by pounding the paste ingredients in a pestle and mortar. Set aside.
Two: Heat the oil in a pan and cook the chicken until browned all over, about 5-7 minutes.
Three: Add the onions and cook until onions are golden brown, about 5 minutes.
Four: Add the paste, mix well and cook for a further minute. Add the lime, salt and the second lot of ginger and cook for a further two minutes.
Five: Add the coconut milk and bring to the boil.
Six: Reduce heat and simmer allowing the liquids to reduce considerably, about 30 minutes.
Seven: Serve with rice.
Is it spicy?
Rendang is full of spice flavour, but it isn't necessarily spicy hot. This particular recipe uses one red chilli , which can add a good level of heat to the dish. You can adjust the amount to your own taste.
If the dish is still too spicy once you have cooked it, you can cool it down by adding a teaspoon of palm sugar (or brown sugar) or by stirring through a tablespoon of plain yogurt.
What vegetables to add
We just used some onion for this recipe. You can of course, add any vegetables that you wish. Baby corn, mushrooms, carrot, aubergine (eggplant), pak choi (bok choy), broccoli, bean sprouts and green beans can all be used and are popular in Indonesian cuisine.
What to serve it with
We served this with some simple basmati rice, but why not try our Turmeric Rice? The dish is quite a filling meal on it's own, but you could serve some sides too. Try our Carrot and Coriander Side Salad, Cucumber and Tomato Salad or just some flatbreads to mop up any sauce.
Store: This is the perfect make ahead meal as the flavour intensifies overnight and tastes even better when reheated. Keep in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Freeze: To freeze, portion out into airtight containers and put in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Defrost: Defrost in the fridge overnight.
Reheat: Reheat in the microwave or in a pan on the hob.
Beef is more commonly used in a rendang, so it would definitely work well. We would recommend cooking it very low and slow for about an hour, so the beef falls apart.
There are 390 calories in this portion of chicken rendang. Serving it with rice or bread would increase the calories.
Yes, this can definitely be done in the slow cooker. Follow steps one to four and then put everything in the slow cooker and cook on high for 3 hours.
Yes, you could swap the chicken breasts for chicken thighs in this rendang. We used breasts to keep it nice and lean, but using skinless and boneless chicken thighs would make it much juicer.
• This isn't a curry, so the sauce should be reduced as much as possible when cooking.
• If this is too spicy, add some palm sugar or a tablespoon of plain yogurt.
• Add any vegetables you like.
More chicken recipes
If you’ve tried this chicken rendang recipe, let us know how you got on in the comments below.
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- 300 g (10.5 oz) Chicken breast - cut into chunks
- 0.5 tablespoon Olive oil
- 1 Onion - chopped
- 400 ml (1.66 cups) Light coconut milk
- 1 (2) Lime - (juice only)
- 1 pinch Sea salt
- 1 tablespoon (1 tablespoon) Fresh ginger - very finely chopped
- 2 Garlic clove
- 1 stalk (1 teaspoon) Lemongrass - bruised and chopped
- 1 tablespoon Fresh ginger - chopped
- 1 (1 teaspoon) Red chilli - chopped
- 1 teaspoon Ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon Ground turmeric
- Make the paste by pounding together 2 Garlic clove, 1 stalk Lemongrass, 1 tablespoon Fresh ginger, 1 Red chilli, 1 teaspoon Ground coriander and 1 teaspoon Ground turmeric in a pestle and mortar. Set aside.
- Heat 0.5 tablespoon Olive oil in a pan and cook 300 g Chicken breast until browned all over, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add 1 Onion and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
- Add the paste, mix well and cook for a further minute. Add juice of 1 Lime, 1 pinch Sea salt and 1 tablespoon Fresh ginger and cook for a further two minutes.
- Add 400 ml Light coconut milk and bring to the boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer, allowing the liquids to reduce considerably, about 30 minutes.
- Serve with rice.
- This isn't a curry, so the sauce should be reduced as much as possible when cooking.
- If this is too spicy, add some palm sugar or a tablespoon of plain yogurt.
- Add any vegetables you like.
okay, so this is a really great recipe! it was a huge success the first time i made it, however when i made it for 6 people it seemed to go wrong. the oil didn't split, and the chicken started falling apart into strands. it burnt the bottom of the pan, so i'd keep stirring it. if anyone can advise me i'd greatly appreciate it, i really want to salvage this dish!
I am not sure what you mean by the oil didn't split. However, if you made it for more people, but didn't use a bigger pan that might be why the pan burnt.
I have just made this for the first after having had tried it at a street restaurant earlier in the year.
I couldn't find lemongrass so used lemon zest. I also added veg: sugar snaps, baby corn, aubergine and mushrooms ass well as star of anise.
It turned out absolutely amazing and I will be trying again. I think next time I will add more chilli as we like our food spicy though.
What is the ingredients added to make the curry paste
All of the ingredients are listed in the recipe card.
Made this last night it was delicious everyone love it will make again
I think my family would love this. Thanks for the recipe!
All of the spices in this recipe make it so flavorful and vibrant!! Will definitely be making this again!
I am making this on Saturday, which is our curry night. Never had rendang before and it looks gorgeous.
My friends cooked this one from me once, and that is how I know about the whole thing. Super delicious way to enjoy chicken, and your recipe is a great proof!
This sounds wonderful but neither my husband nor I like the taste of coconut milk. Is there any alternative we could use to get a similar dish - almond milk or something like that, please? Jean
Coconut is at the heart of this dish. If you don't like the taste of coconut, you should look for a different dish.
Coconut milk really is essential to the flavour of this. You could use cream instead though.
What a fabulous looking dish! I can't wait to make this easy flavorful meal for my family.
So delicious, spicy, and flavorful! Way better than takeout!
I always make rendang but the beef version. Looks like I need to try this one, too! Yum!
Sounds delicious and I love using coconut milk in my recipes so I know this is delicious
I had beef rendang during my trip to Bali last year and it was delicious but this chicken version was super tasty as well!
I love how tasty and delicious this is!! Even the picky eaters at my house loved it!
Best dishes like these are always a must try ones. Bursting with flavors and creaminess too. Perfect for festive planning too,
Oooh I love all the spices in this rendang! Looks so good.
This recipe makes me so happy! The flavors are incredible and it's easy to make. Will def make it again!
We shall have to make it again soon!