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Braised Turmeric Chicken

A comforting chicken dish braised in a turmeric-flavoured coconut gravy that goes wonderfully with hot rice
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Servings 2


  • Deep pot, mortar and pestle


  • 250 g chicken pieces
  • 2 inch fresh turmeric root
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 1 stalk lemon grass, minced (only the soft white bottom part)
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup santan
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil


  • Remove the skin of turmeric root and pound roughly.
  • Marinate chicken pieces in turmeric and a bit of salt for 20 minutes at least.
  • Saute the lemon grass and shallots in oil until fragrant.
  • Add chicken and enough water to cover at least halfway.
  • Cover with lid and braise at low to medium heat for 30 minutes, then add santan.
  • Add salt to taste. Serve!


  1. This recipe works best with dark meat, so use either bone-in chicken leg pieces, or chicken maryland.
  2. You can dress it up by adding flavourful leaves - I've used basil leaves - and boost the umami by adding a dash of fish sauce at the end. For a spicy kick, you can also add chillies.
  3. The longer you braise the chicken, the more tender the meat. I've braised it for up to 1 hour and the meat is fork tender. Just make sure that you turn down the heat to low and check from time to time to ensure the liquid doesn't dry up; you may need to add a bit of water from time to time. 
  4. If you really like turmeric, you can further accentuate the turmeric flavour by adding some turmeric powder.
Keyword chicken