African Chicken

African Chicken

By Raymond Vong

Said to have arrived in Macau decades ago with Mozambican soldiers, African Chicken has since become a staple on many Macanese menus. Family recipes for the dish vary and are often closely guarded secrets. This version should set you on the right track towards making your own perfect African Chicken.


Ingredients for the chicken:

1 teaspoon dried hot red chili pepper, minced

2 tablespoons shallots, minced

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder

2 teaspoons dried rosemary, crumbled

1 chicken (3 to 3½ lbs), halved


Ingredients for the sauce:

1 cup shallots, minced

½ cup garlic, minced

1¼ cups red bell pepper, minced

¼ cup canola oil

½ cup sweet paprika

1 cup grated fresh coconut and coconut milk

¼ cup natural-style peanut butter

1½ cups chicken broth

½ bay leaf


Ingredients to complete the dish:

3 tablespoons canola oil

1 potato, cut into 1-inch cubes


To prepare the chicken

In a bowl, stir together the chili pepper, garlic, shallots, paprika, five-spice powder and rosemary. Rub the mixture into the chicken, place the bird in a shallow dish, cover and chill overnight or for at least six hours.


To prepare the sauce

Cook the shallots, garlic and bell pepper in the oil, in a pot over moderately low heat. Stir the vegetables until they have softened. Then stir in the paprika, coconut, coconut milk, peanut butter, broth and bay leaf.


To complete the dish

In a large skillet, heat the oil over moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking. Brown the chicken with the 1-inch potato cubes.

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Transfer the chicken and potatoes to a baking dish, spoon two cups of the sauce over the chicken and bake in the middle of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Serve the chicken and potatoes with the remaining sauce.

Bon appétit!