Learn how to make the best Indonesian opor ayam at your very own kitchen without much fuss using Instant Pot or on the stove.
Every Summer it seems like I’m involved in a painting project. I swear! I had no plan to paint anything this Summer! But I found myself at home depot checking out a gallon of paint and paint brushes! I have been painting for the past 8 hours. Boy…do I hate trims, moulding, and stairs with all my heart! I feel like my arms are about to detach from the main body! The kids though, thank God, I don’t see prints of paint around the carpet. The 3-year old boy was trying to paint too, but his sister was good enough in distracting him! Oh…what to do without my 6-year old! LOL!
It’s a good thing I have a big pot of this opor ayam I made the day before and I don’t have to worry about cooking. Feed and continue with my work. Traditional opor ayam is prepared by deep-frying the chicken pieces and then cooked in the coconut milk and spices. I didn’t deep fry the chicken and let the chicken just simmer in the aromatics and coconut milk. This dish is deeply flavorful from the spices and the creaminess of the coconut milk is simply wonderful. It’s a great dish served with rice and topped with deep-fried onion/shallots crisp.
You may see varieties of opor ayam that is more “pale” in color (don’t let the color fools you) and some have yellow tinge to it. Turmeric is responsible for the color. I have made both with and without. This recipe is with turmeric in it.
Opor Ayam (Javanese Chicken in Coconut Milk)
- 3 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (leg quarters, drum stick, thighs)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 5 shallots peeled
- 4 kemiri/candlenuts or use about 10 macadamia nuts
- 1 Tbsp coriander seeds toasted until fragrant in a pan without oil or use 2 Tbsp coriander powder
- 1 inch fresh laos/galangal peeled or use 1 Tbsp galangal powder
- 1 inch ginger peeled
- 1 inch turmeric (optional) or 2 tsp of turmeric powder
- 1 tsp sugar
- Salt to taste
- Deep-fried onion/shallot crisp for garnish
- Place all the ingredients for grinding in a food processor, if you use powdered spices, you don't need to grind those. Process into a paste
Cooking with Instant Pot:
- Press saute on Instant Pot. When it's hot, add cooking oil. Add the ground paste and stir fry until it's fragrant. Keep stirring to prevent catching at the bottom of the pot. Add lemongrass, lime leaves and bay leaves. Add chicken pieces and chicken broth
- Turn off saute mode. Cover the lid. Turn the steam release valve to "sealing". Press "pressure cooker" and make sure it's on "high pressure". Set timer to 12 minutes. Wait 5 minutes and then fully release the pressure
- Stir in the coconut milk and let the residual heat continue to warm it up. Season with salt and/or sugar to your taste. Add hard-boiled eggs. Proceed to serving
Cooking on the stove:
- Heat the oil in a large dutch oven or pot and fry the paste to bring out the flavor. Do not allow it to brown. Add lemongrass, lime leaves and bay leaves. Add chicken pieces and chicken broth
- Bring to a gentle simmer. Cover the pot and let it simmer for about 40 minutes until the chicken is tender. Stir the mixture occasionally during cooking. Stir in coconut milk. Do not let it comes to a boil. Season with a pinch of salt and sugar to your taste. Add hard-boiled eggs and use a ladle to spoon the broth over and let cook for another 1 minute. Remove from the heat
- Serve with rice and sprinkle with deep-fried onion/shallots crisp