Ayam percik (Barbecued spicy chicken)

When I stayed with my aunt during school holidays all those years ago, she would buy me ayam percik, or barbecued spicy chicken from the night markets held near our housing estate every Friday.  The chicken had a lovely charred/peanut-y taste, tender and was a treat I looked forward to all week.

We’ve ordered ayam percik in restaurants in London and the good ones never fail to ignite that nostalgia I associate with my childhood.  We’ve been eating sensibly all week and I decided we were due a treat. I bought some organic chicken legs from Waitrose yesterday, and told Hubby we were having ayam percik for dinner.  He was pleased.


  • 2 chicken legs (skin on)
  • 3 red chillies, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1 lemon grass stalk
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp tamarind juice
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Blend the chillies, shallot, garlic, ginger and lemon grass until fine
  2. Place the chicken in a large bowl
  3. Mix in the chilli paste from step 1, turmeric powder, ground cinnamon, tamarind juice and coconut milk
  4. Season generously with salt and pepper
  5. Leave to marinate in the fridge from 2 hours to overnight
  6. Pre-heat the oven at 200 degrees celsius.  Place the chicken in a baking tray
  7. Pour the marinade over the chicken and cook in the oven for 35 minutes until the skin is crisp
  8. Baste the chicken with the oven every 10 minutes or so with the cooking juices and marinade
  9. If you have a bbq set handy, grill the chicken for 30 – 35 minutes, and baste regularly with the marinade

I served the ayam percik with nasi goreng (fried rice).


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