Indonesia – Cincane Chicken

by Fauzan Anandika

Our earth consists of thousands of islands, big and small. Most of them still unnamed and inhabitant. One of the biggest islands in the world is Borneo in Indonesia. Located right on the equator, Borneo also becomes one of the largest rainforests. Its forest produces various kind of useful plant for the human. 

Borneo island foremost East Borneo province is known for its authentic brown sugar. Made from palm tree sap and cooked with the traditional method to maintain the taste and mold it in a cone shape. Borneo people use brown sugar in their culinary and also become their authentic gift for the tourist. East Borneo also has a rousing festival named Erau Festival.

Erau Festival is the biggest cultural festival in East Borneo. This festival is usually held for 1 week in the middle of June and performing various traditional dances, ceremonies, and art galleries. Erau word means rousing, crowded, and noisy that describes the festival atmosphere full of music, dance, and happiness. The Erau festival was held for the first time when Aji Batara Agung Dewa Sakti become the king of Kutai Kertanegara (1300 – 1325). Since that time, Borneo people held the Erau festival every time a new king was crowned. 

When enjoying the Erau festival, there is a special dish that you need to taste, which was Cincane Chicken. A grilled chicken dish, seasoned with unique spice and herb that makes it turn into red color and then grilled to make a perfect taste. To cook Cincane chicken, Borneo people only use organic chicken to have a tender texture and tastier. 

Borneo people use coconut milk, tamarind, lime, shallot, galangal, candlenut, lemongrass, shrimp paste, and soy sauce. Stir fry all the spices and cook the chicken to make the meat absorb the flavor. Cincane chicken will taste better with a side of yellow pickles.


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 7 clove garlic
  • 12 pieces of shallot
  • 1 tablespoon of shrimp paste
  • 3 lemongrass
  • 4 cm of galangal
  • 17 pieces of red chili
  • 7 pieces of green chili
  • 2 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 3 sheet of bay leaf
  • Charcoal 
  • 5 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 2 cm of ginger
  • Water 

Yellow pickles ingredient

  • 4 pieces of cucumber
  • 2 pieces of carrot
  • 3 pieces of shallot
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoon of sugar
  • 11 tablespoon of vinegar
  • 2 sheet of bay leaf
  • 2 cm of galangal
  • 500 ml of water
  • 65 ml instant coconut milk

Ground pickles spice

  • 5 pieces of shallot
  • 3 clove of garlic
  • 2 piece of candlenut
  • ¼ teaspoon of coriander
  • 5 cm of turmeric
  • 2 tablespoon of cooking oil

Yellow pickles preparation

  1. Remove cucumber seed.
  2. Thinly slice cucumber, carrot, and shallot.
  3. Mix shallot, cucumber, carrot, sugar, salt, and vinegar, set aside, and keep it for 15 minutes.
  4. Prepare a food processor, add and grind all the ground pickles spices.
  5. Heat cooking oil in a frying pan. Add the ground spice and fry until fragrant.
  6. Add bay leaf and galangal. 
  7. Add the pickles and stir for 10 minutes. 
  8. Adjust the taste with salt and sugar.
  9. Add coconut milk and cook until boiling
  10. Place in a medium bowl. 

How to cook

  1. Boil the chicken to remove the dirt.
  2. Grind all the spice except lemongrass, galangal, bay leaf, and ginger. 
  3. Cook the ground spice with cooking oil until fragrant.
  4. Add chicken, finely mix, and cook until fragrant. 
  5. Add 250 ml of water.
  6. Cook until well dried.
  7. Prepare the charcoal in the grill.
  8. Grill the chicken for 5 minutes.
  9. Cincane chicken is ready to be served with a side of yellow pickles.


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