Ayam Betutu is the authentic Balinese dish of steamed or roasted chicken stuffed with traditional spices, wrapped in banana leaves, and then enveloped tight in banana trunk bark (or aluminum foil) before it’s baked. The result is a rich and juicy, succulent feast with all meat easily separated from bone. It is the most famous dish and very popular nowadays among tourists who travel to Bali. This highly seasoned and spiced dish is full of flavor and incredibly moist. An even spicier version is available using extra-spicy sauce made from uncooked (raw) onion slices mixed with red chili peppers and coconut oil, mostly served with rice.
Traditionally this delicious dish would be cooked at least for 24 hours, but as this may be a bit impractical in the West, here is a recipe for cooking it in the oven. Check it out!
- 1 whole chicken, weighing about 1.2-1.5 kg brined for 12 hours
- 200g cassava leaves, cleaned and blanched for 3 minutes, drained and roughly chopped. Alternatively use spinach leaves, which are blanched for only 15 second. Banana leaves, greaseproof paper or alumunium foil for wrapping
- 250g spice paste for chicken
- 1 pinch salt to taste (use very little as chicken is already brained)
- 1 pinch black peppercorns, crushed
- 2 tbsp vegetable or coconut oil
- Ensure inside and outside of chicken is completely cleaned out, and thoroughly rinsed after brining. Dry with towel.
- Season inside and outside with salt and pepper.
- Combine 150g of spice past with cassava leaves and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Loosen skin from breasts without breaking it and stuff ½ of the stuffing between the skin and the chicken breast. Fill the reminder of the stuffing into the center of the chicken and close opening with a sae skewer.
- Wrap chicken into several layers of banana leaves, greaseproof paper or foil and steam to a core temperature of 65°C. Allow to rest in warm place for 45 minutes.
- Open upper layers of banana leaves to expose breast and legs. Baste with basting mix and transfer chicken onto a wire rack into a very hot oven (275°C) and sear for 10-15 minutes. This well result in a golden crispy skin.
- Remove banana leaves, cut chicken meat up in small pieces and serve with stuffing.
Use remaining 100g of chicken spice paste and blend well with 100ml coconut or vegetable oil.