Indonesian fried chicken usually does not have crispy battered skins like the western ones (read KFC, lol), but we do have a knack for making kremes.
Kremes batter is a mix of cooking liquid when boiling the chicken and flour. Frying this batter in hot oil creates crispy and utterly delicious fried flakes.
Kremes means crunchy in Indonesian, so the name gives a pretty good idea of the crispy goodness when you bite into them.
1. Fried chicken ingredients
You can use one whole chicken cut into 8-12 pieces or about 4-5 chicken leg quarters separated into thighs and drumsticks.
You will also need garlic, shallot, candlenuts (Indonesian: kemiri), daun salam (Indonesian bay leaves), coriander, palm sugar, and salt.
2. Batter ingredients for the crispy flakes
The crispy flakes batter will be a mix of the cooking liquid from the chicken, along with all-purpose flour, rice flour, and baking powder.
Start with grinding shallots, garlic, and candlenuts into a smooth paste.
Heat a little oil in a wok over medium heat, and sauté spice paste, Indonesian bay leaves, and coriander until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Add chicken, salt, sugar, and water into the wok, then stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the chicken is cook, about 30 minutes.
Remove the chicken and drain over a strainer.
Strain the cooking liquid, then mix it with all-purpose flour, rice flour, and baking powder to create the kremes (spicy flakes) batter.
Heat a pot of oil for deep frying.
Once the oil is hot, fry the chicken until golden brown. It should only take about 2 minutes per batch. Drain the chicken on a wire rack to remove excess oil.
Finally, it is time to prepare the kremes. Pour the thin batter in thin streams into the hot oil. Once the batter is crispy and golden brown, scoop it up with a fine-mesh strainer and drain on a wire rack or parchment paper.
TIPS: The hot oil will bubble quite vigorously when you pour the thin batter, but it should die down in about 10 seconds.
Serve the fried chicken immediately with the crispy fried flakes (kremes) and steamed white rice. I usually serve this with a side of sambal terasi.