Chicken Semur, Indonesian Chicken Stew with Potatoes

Chicken semur is Indonesian traditional chicken stew, that braised in sweet soy sauce and some exotic spices. The name semur is derived from the word smoor which means slow or long cooking process in Dutch. It is believed that during the Dutch colonisation, they brought their stew cooking technique into Indonesian kitchen.

ready Indonesian chicken semur or chicken stew
ready chicken semur with potatoes

The creation of semur was a result of the combination of Dutch slow cooking technique and the use of local spices and local sweet soy sauce which was  one of the most popular  flavouring at that time, even now.

There are varieties of presentations and recipes of semur, with wide range of main ingredients. There are beef, chicken, tofu, potatoes, eggs, ox tongue and many more. Today’s recipe is for chicken semur, my whole family’s favourite. Follow the instructions below:

Indonesian stewed chicken or semur ingredients
chicken semur ingredients

Chicken semur or stew ingredients

  • 1 kg chicken breast fillet or thigh or half chicken
  • 5 potatoes
  • 4 french shallots or half of  brown onion
  • cooking oil
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves (optional)
  • 3 dried chillies (seeded and roughly chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons sweet soy sauce or combine dark soy sauce with sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 liter water
chicken and potatoes for chicken stew or semur
chicken and potatoes for cooking chicken semur

How to make chicken semur or stew:

  • Peel shallots or brown onion, slice them thinly then  fry it in a pan with a tablespoon of cooking oil until golden brown. Strain it out and place it onto a small dish then leave it aside.
  • Peel potatoes, wash and cut them to halves. Fry cut potatoes with 2 tablespoons of cooking oil over medium heat until half-cooked. Transfer them onto a medium size dish.
  • After that, cut chicken pieces and fry it over medium heat in a big pan with a tablespoon of oil until half-cooked. Discard the excess oil, but keep the chicken in the big pan.
  • Add chopped dried chill, cinnamon stick, cloves, tamarind juice and sweet soy sauce into the chicken. Use dark soy sauce and sugar if you don’t  have sweet soy sauce.
  • Pour water to the chicken and stir it well. Add potatoes and salt. Bring it to boil, then lower the heat and let it cook slowly until the potatoes are cooked and the chicken meat is tenter.
  • Adjust the taste. Add more water if necessary, and add more salt or soy sauce if needed.
  • At last, sprinkle fried onion into semur.
stewed chicken or semur in the process
chicken semur in the process

Happy cooking!

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