5 Ingredients or Fewer

Sambal Oelek Roasted Chicken

January 22, 2016
5 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Prep time 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Serves 2 to 4
Author Notes

Sambal oelek (or ulek, as it is sometimes known) is a Southeast Asian spice paste that mainly comprises red chilis, salt, and vinegar. Sometimes you’ll also find variations that are flavoured with shrimp paste, garlic, ginger, onions, and fish sauce. Traditionally made using a mortar and pestle (that’s also how it derives its name), this condiment is a staple in every household and used extensively in sauces, as a marinade for meats and seafood, and also in salads. —Kirthana | Theblurrylime

Test Kitchen Notes

Winner, winner, tasty chicken dinner. I loved everything about this recipe, from the ease of the marinade to the roasting and the overall final flavor. The sambal oelek gives the chicken a fantastic heat, while the honey balances it out nicely. And the garlic adds a kick. The entire recipe takes less than 10 minutes of prep time (not factoring in the overnight marinade). —figgypudding

What You'll Need
  • 750 grams chicken thighs/drumsticks (bone-in)
  • 2 tablespoons sambal oelek (or to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon light soy
  • 7 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • Salt
  1. Place the chicken pieces in a zip-top bag and add sambal oelek, honey, soy, garlic, and salt; squish the bag about until the chicken pieces are coated well, and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or up to a day.
  2. Preheat oven to 180° C (356° F). Tip the chicken pieces into a baking dish and cook in the middle of the rack for 40 to 50 minutes, flipping it halfway into cooking time. Let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  3. Note: Oven temperatures and cooking times can vary, so make sure to keep an eye out after about 35 minutes.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Laurie
  • Laura
  • Kirthana | Theblurrylime
    Kirthana | Theblurrylime
  • inpatskitchen
  • Audrius Sapola
    Audrius Sapola

7 Reviews

Jim B. February 8, 2022
I took the advice from another reviewer and tripled the marinade.

I also changed cooking times a bit. 30mins at 350deg, then 15mins at 425. For the first 30mins I had the thighs skin-side down. Flipped them for the 15mins at 425 to get a nice crisp on the skin.

Serving with mashed turnip and stirfied bok choy/swiss chard.

Relatively healthy and low carb meal.

Laurie May 15, 2018
Great flavor but next time I think I'll double or triple the marinade/sauce. Would be terrific with wings, too.
Laura October 19, 2016
Made this last night. So quick! So easy! So delicious! Steamed some rice and threw a sheet of onion & green veg in the oven to cook along with the chicken. Finished it up with some green onion on top. Marinated it for about 3 hours but would have happily let it sit in that marinade all day. This is going on our weeknight dinner rotation indefinitely. Thank you! :D
Kirthana |. June 19, 2016
Thank you! So excited about this!
inpatskitchen June 18, 2016
Congrats on the CP!! This was extremely good!
Audrius S. June 30, 2016
Very good, cooked it tonight.
Kirthana |. July 3, 2016
Oh yay! :)