If you’ve been following along on the blog, you’ll know that I’m slowly but steadily cooking my way through the Lucky Rice cookbook.  If you haven’t heard of the Lucky Rice cookbook before, I’d highly recommend checking it out – not only have the recipes been delicious yet straightforward, the vignettes and captivating style resulted in me reading this book cover to cover. Yes – I read cookbooks cover to cover when warranted!

As I was digging through the recipes, one especially caught my eye – the recipe for Macanese African chicken.  Despite its name, Macanese African chicken is not actually African in origin; instead, it is a Macanese classic incorporating both Chinese and Spanish spices. How it got its name? Well, the jury is still out on this one.  In the mean time, you can try this dish for yourself – the ingredients can be easily found at your local grocery store and the steps are pretty simple.

I made this dish for an eating buddy who used to visit Macau when he lived in the area and loved this dish.  He gave my version the seal of approval, and I, who had never even heard of Macanese African chicken before, wholeheartedly agreed. But don’t take OUR word for it!

Macanese African Chicken (from the Lucky Rice cookbook)

For the Chicken:

  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp minced shallots
  • 1 tsp hot parpika
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 bay leaves, crumbled
  • 1 large chicken (approximately 4 pounds), quartered – I like dark meat so just got 4 pounds worth of chicken thighs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

For the Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped shallots
  • 8 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp hot paprika
  • 1 16-oz can coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter

Prepare the Chicken: In a large bowl, mix together the garlic, shallots, paprika, kosher salt, and bay leaves.  Add the chicken and rub the marinade all over it. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or as long as overnight.

Make the Sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic, and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the paprika, coconut milk, chicken broth, and peanut butter and simmer over low heat until blended, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400F. In a large heavy skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Remove the chicken from the marinade and saute until it is browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. 

Transfer the chicken to a baking dish.

Spoon the sauce evenly over the chicken.

Bake for about 30 minutes, until bubbly. Serve with steamed rice alongside.

This dish is really, really delicious – I admit I was skeptical of the peanut butter at first, but the flavors melded together seamlessly.  I will definitely be making this again, especially as the weather gets cooler.  Try it out and remember to tag your photos with #BigAppleNoshLuckyRice and let me know – can’t wait to check it out! 🙂

Other recipes I’ve tried from the Lucky Rice cookbook:

  • Tea-Smoked Eggs
  • Japanese Pancakes