Balinese Chicken or Take Me Away!


Take me away – to Bali. Please.

Leave it to manservant to leave the taxes to October 15th. He mailed them at 11:50 PM last night. I am exhausted. I was entering bank statements for 3 days because he sprung this upon me, very last minute. I deserve a trip to Bali. Right?


Ahhhh-well, it’s been a crazy year. But I would be happy to do taxes if it meant a trip to Bali. Truth is, 23 years ago we were planning one. It was then I found out I was pregnant with twins and the doctor didn’t think it was such a great idea traipsing clear across the world. What do doctors know? In any case, I’m still wanting to take that trip.


And so it is, I made this chicken. It was titled Balinese chicken and honestly, I don’t know exactly what it is that makes it Balinese, except maybe the coconut. I bet they have lots of coconuts in Bali. Maybe one day I’ll find out. I had Balinese chicken two times-in Hawaii. I remember this place-the Sibu cafe in Kona. I looked it up. It has since closed. It was a grilled chicken with a succulent sauce. It was a long time ago. I don’t remember much except that it was good. So good we went back a few years after the first time and ate it again.

This recipe for so called Balinese chicken isn’t grilled. It is pan fried in coconut oil. You can also use canola oil. But after all it is Bali we are talking about, where they have coconuts and not canolas. Right? I’m a little tired so bear with me. Or just skip right ahead to the recipe. I found this chicken very comforting. The leftovers were even better. It wasn’t too spicy or too coconutty. Just right-like Goldilocks said. You remember Goldilocks? I think even Goldilocks would have liked this chicken.

I added the peas. Do they have peas in Bali? Maybe snow peas. Yes, you can decide for yourself. I’m too tired to tell you or to look it up. Do peas fall under the grocery heading or the meals and entertainment heading? Perhaps they could be filed under miscellaneous. Manservant does not like it when I put too many things in the miscellaneous column. Even worse if I use the unknown column. I think manservant should figure it out himself. Or take me to Bali.



Balinese Chicken Serves 4 in medium speed mode
4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
salt and pepper
flour for dusting
2 T coconut oil or canola oil
3/4 c diced onions
1 seeded jalapeno pepper
2 cloves minced garlic
12 cashews (not 11)
1/2 t red chili powder
1/2 t turmeric
1/2 t garam masala
1/2 t ground ginger
1 can coconut milk
1 T soy sauce
1-2 t brown sugar
1 t wine vinegar
1/2 c frozen peas, thawed.

Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Dust lightly in flour. Place in frying pan until browned on both sides. Remove and keep warm.

Puree the onions, garlic, jalapeno, nuts,chile powder, turmeric, garam masala and ginger in a blender with a little of the coconut milk until it is a fairly smooth paste. Place the paste in the frying pan and saute on high heat for five minutes, stirring all the while.

Add about another 1/2 c of coconut milk, the soy sauce, sugar and vinegar and quickly bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently.

Put chicken back in pan and simmer for 20 minutes, uncovered. Baste with the sauce and keep the chicken happy. Feel free to add more coconut milk as needed. Two minutes before serving you can stir in the peas. Season to taste. You may want more soy or sugar or heat. I kept this simmering for almost an hour because manservant was on the phone. I kept adding coconut milk. The chicken became more tender. It was happy chicken. Manservant was happy because I waited.

Serve with rice. Sprinkle with toasted coconut and cilantro if you want to make it look pretty. A few chopped cashews would be nice, too.



Try these too:
Royal Thai Chicken
Cantonese Steamed Chicken with Black Mushrooms
Brazilian Coconut Lime Shrimp Stew
Meatball Vietnamese Noodle Bowl

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  • Zannahdoo
    January 13, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    I made this over the weekend & it was amazing! Really, really good. SO happy I found your blog…. I live in Centennial as well & it is nice to see familiar recipes along with really witty posts! Thanks for the great recipes.

  • Zannahdoo
    January 13, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    I made this and it is amazing! Thank you for the recipe. I am really happy I found your blog… I live in Centennial as well…. it is nice to see familiar recipes along with really witty posts!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      January 13, 2014 at 4:03 pm

      It was so nice to wake up to your comment this morning. I am so glad you found me too! I think Centennial has very nice people! Glad you liked it. It really is delicious, isn't it?

  • Paula @ Vintage Kitchen Notes
    October 26, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    I'm digging this chicken a lot Abbe, so many good flavors! I've never been to Bali, but I have a feeling problems dissappear for a while when you're there…

  • shannon weber
    October 21, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    YUM! this looks amazing: everything i love in one dish. If this is what a trip to Bali would be like, let's TOTALLY go. 🙂

  • Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch)
    October 20, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    I'm loving every single ingredient in this recipe. And being a fan, I'm glad you added those peas. Pinned. I look forward to your announcement that you're heading to Bali! 🙂

  • Laura Dembowski
    October 18, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    Life is short. You should plan your trip to Bali and go. It looks beautiful!

  • Sharon
    October 18, 2013 at 2:44 am

    Awww…I'm with you, Abbe. You deserve a trip to Bali! ^.^

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      October 18, 2013 at 2:38 pm

      You are my best friend, Sharon!

    October 17, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    As delicious as this chicken looks and certainly tastes, Abbe, there really is no way of knowing whether it is truly a Balinese dish. It could be Fijian dressed in Balinese spices. You should hire me to get to the bottom of this. I'll go to Bali — and even Fiji — to see if this is the real deal. Don't thank me, Abbe, It's what I do. I'm the guy who discovered that Buffalo wings are named after the city and not bison. 🙂

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      October 18, 2013 at 2:38 pm

      Very funny, John. But if you go, I get to go too!

  • Purabi Naha | Cosmopolitan Currymania
    October 17, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    This Balinese chicken sounds like a great curry. Balinese food has a common flavour relationship with Indian cuisine. The use of Garam masala and the way it is cooked is very similar to the Indian chicken curries.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      October 18, 2013 at 2:36 pm

      I thought so too, Purabi. Maybe Balinese cooking is similar to Indian cooking!

  • Denise [email protected] Brazil To You
    October 17, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    What a gorgeous place…I hope we both have the chance to visit it!!! The chicken , Balinese or not, is definitely a take away. It looks VERY delish!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      October 17, 2013 at 5:43 pm

      Me too, Denise. And I hope you are feeling better!

  • Angie Schneider
    October 17, 2013 at 3:16 am

    A great Asian flavoured chicken, Abbe. I like that you have added peas in it…green is always good to me and you know what? I am going to use at least 15 cashew nuts in it!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      October 17, 2013 at 5:43 pm

      Angie, baby-use as many as you want! it is always fun to see who reads!

  • Kitchen Riffs
    October 17, 2013 at 12:59 am

    I'd love to visit Bali someday! I guess in the meantime I'll just have to make this, won't I? Next best thing to being in Bali. 😉

  • Amy (Savory Moments)
    October 16, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    Sounds like a wonderful vacation to me! I would love to visit Bali 🙂 This chicken dish looks pretty fantastic!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      October 17, 2013 at 5:42 pm

      For some reason, it has always fascinated me! The chicken was great!