I’ve never been to Indonesia, but like many Asian places,  it fascinates me.   Way too long ago, David Rosengarten had a show on satays, in which he highlighted the variety of cooking styles in Indonesia, a reflex of the huge number of populated islands forming the country: more than 6,000!   It is hard to imagine! I would be thrilled enough to visit just one:  Java… 😉

The Barefoot Contessa was the inspiration for last Sunday’s dinner: Indonesian Ginger Chicken. I’m fond of poultry marinated in soy, so her recipe  got my full attention (even if I did roll my eyes  when I read her endorsement of it: “Lauren Bacall gets cranky if we are sold out….” )

(adapted from Ina Garten)

1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup freshly grated ginger
1 chicken, quartered
Parsnips, peeled and cut in large pieces

Heat the honey, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger in a small saucepan, until the honey melts and the sauce is smooth. Let it cool, and pour over the chicken arranged on a baking dish, skin side down.  Cover the dish with aluminum foil and marinate overnight in the fridge.

Heat the oven to 350F.  Place the dish in the oven, still covered, and cook for 45 minutes.  Remove the foil, turn the chicken skin side up, add the pieces of parsnips around the chicken, making sure to coat them with some of the sauce forming at the bottom of the dish. Increase the oven temperature to 375F and continue baking for at least 30 minutes, until parsnips are tender, and the chicken is fully cooked.  The sauce should be very dark brown.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I modified the recipe  to increase the cooking time, add some parsnips and reduce the garlic.   I’m in the minority, I know,  but I dislike the over-use of  garlic.   And here’s another shocker, the parsnips were as good as the chicken itself.  We couldn’t stop eating them!  Lastly, the side portions of lemony asparagus brightened the whole meal,  to round out a delicious Sunday dinner.

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18 thoughts on “INDONESIAN DELIGHT

  1. Honey and soy is a widely used marinade – very nice on pork ribs too! What sort of soy did you use, Sally – the thick dark stuff (which is a bit sweet) or the thinner light soy (like a traditional Kikkoman)?

    Looks delicious – I hope you make it to Indonesia one day, it’s a fascinating place.


  2. Celia, you will laugh…. I used the traditional Kikkoman. I do have the “special” one, but because I have to drive quite a few miles to get it, I end up keeping it in my pantry and staring at it, using it VERY sparingly, never for a marinade🙂

    (I know, I know, it’s silly…. )


  3. Lovely to look at, Sally, and delicious, I’m sure. Don’t you miss David Rosengarten?

    I’m one who agrees with you about the overuse of garlic; I love it but in some cases people go overboard. Know who else thinks this? Marcella Hazan, no less. We’re in good company.😉


    • Ha! Great minds season alike!

      I don’t mind a little garlic, but every time I see a recipe with 8-10 cloves, I know that it will overpower the natural flavors of everything else in the dish. What is the point?

      Unless it is the classic chicken with 40 cloves of garlic – but in that case, it’s a different concept altogether.


  4. I was born and raised in Indonesia and now living in the US. Instead of honey and soy, the Indonesian would use “kecap” a thick dark liquid sauce, sweet/salty taste. It is use in many dishes. I will try this recipe, thanks for sharing.


    • Riosamba (cute name you picked…🙂

      I have heard of kecap, I think David Rosengarten talked about it in his show as the authentic component of Indonesian dishes. I now wonder if I can find it somewhere, or maybe order it through the net. I will definitely investigate…. thanks for the tip!


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