Braised Free Range Chicken

Published October 27, 2014 by Ninik Becker

Braised free range chicken

Tender delicious Braised Free Range Chicken.

Have you ever cook free range chicken but the meat was very though and difficult to eat? Free range chicken meat is leaner and tough if cook not the right way.

In Indonesia free range chicken recipes are very popular. Those who live in the village or people who have chance to raise free range chicken, they like to raise their chickens by building a chicken coop for chickens to sleep at night and open the coop small door to let them go from early morning until evening. Usually they know the way back to their coop.

Hmm..see? Even chicken have great memory and know how to come back home.

Sometimes if there is one that has not come home, the owner will be calling out using the language that he/she thought understood by their chicken. Ha ha I know how to pronounce it but it was hard to write.

The chickens are very active in the outdoors with natural feed. Free, happy and healthy chickens. This resulted more pliant flesh, though when compare to broilers.

At the bottom of this post I share some tips to make free range chicken tender faster.

Ingredients :

  • 1 whole free range chicken, no head & feet, cut into section  (tenderized used young papaya).
  • 2 medium carrots, diagonal cuts
  • 2 cups finely sliced white cabbage
  • some cherry tomatoes
  • 2 stalk spring onion
  • I added some Brussel sprouts for green color, halved
  • 750 ml water
  • oil

Seasoning paste: Using blender or pestle & mortar

  • 6 purple shallots
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 large red chilli
  • 2 red bird-eye chilli
  • 2 sliced ginger
  • 2 sliced galangal
  • 2 cm grilled turmeric root
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 roasted Kemiri/candlenuts
  • 2 tsp roasted whole coriander seeds
  • 2 stalk lemon grass, smashed the white parts
  • brown sugar and salt to taste, adjusted


Method :

  • Rub tenderized chicken with 1/3 of seasoning, marinate at least 30 minutes.
  • Brown the chicken  both sides, set aside.
  • Saute the remaining seasoning in medium heat until the aroma comes out. Add carrot, cabbage, tomatoes and stir to wilt.
  • Add water and bring to boil.

Braised free range chicken

  • After the water boiled, add the tenderized browned chicken in. Cook in medium heat until the liquid absorbed, reduced and thicken and the chicken tender.
  • Add Brussel sprout and spring onion. Stir well and cook until Brussel sprouts soften.

Braised free range chicken

  • Taste it, add salt and sugar if necessary adjust to your taste.
  • Transfer to serving dish and serve with steamed rice.

Braised free range chicken


How to tenderize free range chicken

  • Young papaya.

Free range chicken, cut as you like

1 young papaya, peeled, deseeded, cut into 4

Water as needed

Bring water to boil, add chicken and young papaya and cook for about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat, remove the chicken and ready to cook as you like. The liquid and papaya can use if you like.

  • Papaya leaves

2-3 papaya leaves, washed

Free range chicken, cut as you like


Bring water to boil, add papaya leaves and chicken. Cook about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and remove the chicken. Rinse again. Ready to cook in any recipe.

  • Fresh sugarcane

2-3   stalks of 1o cm fresh sugarcane, rinse, split into 4

Free range chicken, cut as you like


Bring water to boil, add chicken and fresh sugarcane. Cook about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and remove the chicken. Ready to cook. The liquid can use if you like.

  • Coconut water (NOT coconut milk)

If using coconut water, replace the water measurement in the recipe you are using with coconut water.

In Indonesia people mostly use fresh coconut for cooking. If you buy coconut in the market the coconut seller will ask if you want the coconut water or not. If you want it, he will put separately in a clear plastic bag. He will give you more if you want more. You can even ask only the coconut water for free without need to buy the coconut. Strain before use.

Coconut water will make the free range chicken recipe taste delicious and tender.


Selamat makan !


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