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Macanese African Chicken With Moorish Rice

Serves : 4 Preparation 15 mins Cooking 60 mins Total 75
Nutrition facts: calories g protein g carbs g sugars g fat g g fibre mg sodium
For the spice paste: 6 cloves, peeled Garlic 3 large or 4 medium, whole, roughly sliced Red cayenne chilli 4 teaspoons Smoked Paprika 2-4 tablespoons Low sodium light soy sauce 1 pinch Sea salt 1 pinch Black pepper For the sauce: 200ml, full fat Coconut milk To Stuff the Chicken: 1.25kg Organic whole chicken 4 Shallot 1-inch piece, peeled, whole Ginger Seasoning the chicken: 1 large, zest Lemon 2 large pinches Sea salt 10 grinds Black pepper For the rice: 500g, wahsed until the water runs clear Basmati rice 500ml Chicken stock 400ml Filtered water 1 pinch Salt 1 pinch Ground white pepper For frying the rice: 1 tablespoon Rapeseed oil 1 large, peeled and diced White onion 100g Raisins 3-4, top tailed, sliced to 1cm rounds (keep some for garnish) Spring onion 200g, diced to 1cm cubes Smoky Bacon Lardons 1 teaspoon Turmeric ½ teaspoon Smoked Paprika

This dish is inspired by the classic African Chicken and is one of the most famous and popular dishes in Macanese cuisine. A relatively modern Macanese dish according to Annabel Jackson’s “A Taste of Macao”, it is thought to have been invented in the 1940’s by Chef Americo Angelo, at the former Pousada de Macao.

As with many Macanese dishes, traditional recipes vary but all call for a marinade to be made including butter, garlic, salt, bay leaves and chillies (and sometimes peppercorns and shallots), along with a basting sauce with added coconut milk. The chicken is roasted for 1 hour and is regularly basted with the sauce until it is crispy on top yet still soft underneath. It is served with the remaining sauce.

Having tried African Chicken in Macao cooked for me by the talented chef David Wong of the Culinary Institute, I have injected some Chinese soy to push those influences a little further and impart a savoury note to the Chicken. I make a spice paste out of garlic, cayenne chillies, shallots, black pepper, grated lemon, soy sauce and “smoked paprika” - which Portuguese call “colorau doce”.

First, I create the spice paste and then divide it into two, one which is used to cover the entire chicken and roasted, the rest is blended with coconut milk, cooked down and reduced to a delicious serving sauce. This is then served with an umami hit of smoky bacon lardons, with turmeric, cayenne chilli, soy, Basmati rice, raisins and toasted almonds all wok-fried together to create a delicious Moorish-Chinese fried rice, topped with crispy croutons. Yes, crispy croutons! Or fried bits of bread, which is what the Macanese used to use. This dish represents the incredible blend of African, Portuguese, Indian and Chinese influences that makes Macanese one of the oldest fusion cuisines in the world, and truly one of the most unique.

Macanese African Chicken With Moorish Rice

  1. Serves : 4
  2. Preparation time 15 Minutes
  3. Cooking time 1 Hours
per serving

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About the recipe

main courses

This dish is inspired by the classic African Chicken and is one of the most famous and popular dishes in Macanese cuisine. A relatively modern Macanese dish according to Annabel Jackson’s “A Taste of Macao”, it is thought to have been invented in the 1940’s by Chef Americo Angelo, at the former Pousada de Macao.

As with many Macanese dishes, traditional recipes vary but all call for a marinade to be made including butter, garlic, salt, bay leaves and chillies (and sometimes peppercorns and shallots), along with a basting sauce with added coconut milk. The chicken is roasted for 1 hour and is regularly basted with the sauce until it is crispy on top yet still soft underneath. It is served with the remaining sauce.

Having tried African Chicken in Macao cooked for me by the talented chef David Wong of the Culinary Institute, I have injected some Chinese soy to push those influences a little further and impart a savoury note to the Chicken. I make a spice paste out of garlic, cayenne chillies, shallots, black pepper, grated lemon, soy sauce and “smoked paprika” - which Portuguese call “colorau doce”.

First, I create the spice paste and then divide it into two, one which is used to cover the entire chicken and roasted, the rest is blended with coconut milk, cooked down and reduced to a delicious serving sauce. This is then served with an umami hit of smoky bacon lardons, with turmeric, cayenne chilli, soy, Basmati rice, raisins and toasted almonds all wok-fried together to create a delicious Moorish-Chinese fried rice, topped with crispy croutons. Yes, crispy croutons! Or fried bits of bread, which is what the Macanese used to use. This dish represents the incredible blend of African, Portuguese, Indian and Chinese influences that makes Macanese one of the oldest fusion cuisines in the world, and truly one of the most unique.

For the spice paste
  • Garlic - 6 cloves, peeled
  • Red cayenne chilli - 3 large or 4 medium, whole, roughly sliced
  • Smoked Paprika - 4 teaspoons
  • Low sodium light soy sauce - 2-4 tablespoons
  • Sea salt - 1 pinch
  • Black pepper - 1 pinch
For the sauce
  • Coconut milk - 200ml, full fat
To Stuff the Chicken
  • Organic whole chicken - 1.25kg
  • Shallot - 4
  • Ginger - 1-inch piece, peeled, whole
Seasoning the chicken
  • Lemon - 1 large, zest
  • Sea salt - 2 large pinches
  • Black pepper - 10 grinds
For the rice
  • Basmati rice - 500g, wahsed until the water runs clear
  • Chicken stock - 500ml
  • Filtered water - 400ml
  • Salt - 1 pinch
  • Ground white pepper - 1 pinch
For frying the rice
  • Rapeseed oil - 1 tablespoon
  • White onion - 1 large, peeled and diced
  • Raisins - 100g
  • Spring onion - 3-4, top tailed, sliced to 1cm rounds (keep some for garnish)
  • Smoky Bacon Lardons - 200g, diced to 1cm cubes
  • Turmeric - 1 teaspoon
  • Smoked Paprika - ½ teaspoon

Steps

  • Place all the ingredients for the spice paste from the garlic to the soy sauce and blitz to form a smooth paste. Divide the paste into two portions.
  • With one portion of the paste, add the coconut milk and blitz to a smooth sauce, and place this in a wok or medium saucepan. Cook this sauce on a medium heat until the colour deepens to a rich deep orange brown. Keep the sauce warm and reserve this to serve with the chicken.
  • Remove the innards from the chicken. Place the chicken breast side up on a roasting rack within a roasting tin. Smear the chicken all over, with the remaining spice paste, making sure both the top and the underside are covered. Stuff the chicken with the shallots and the ginger. Season the chicken with salt, ground black pepper, and lemon zest.
  • Heat the oven to 180 degrees and then roast the chicken for 1 hour.
  • About 30 minutes before the chicken is cooked, prepare the Moorish rice. Wash the rice until the water runs clear. Place in a medium saucepan. Add the rice, cover with chicken stock and water. Bring to the boil, uncovered, then once boiled, turn the heat to low, place a lid over the top and cook on low heat for 15-20 minutes until the rice is cooked or place all the rice into a rice cooker and set for 15-20 minutes to cook. Fluff the rice with a fork or rice spatula once cooked.
  • To make the wok fried Moorish rice, heat a wok over high heat, add the rapeseed oil. Add the onions, cook until translucent, then add the raisins, spring onions, Smokey bacon lardons, season with turmeric and smoked paprika. Cook until the lardons are browned at the edges, the cooked Basmati rice, and mix well, season with 2-3 tablespoons of low sodium light soy sauce, toss in the flaked almonds. Garnish with crispy croutons and some more spring onions.
  • Once the chicken is cooked, remove from the oven. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Serve the rice on a platter alongside the chicken. You can carve the chicken at the table, serve with the reduced sauce, and eat immediately. You can also serve this with a seasonal salad of your choice.
For the spice paste
  • Garlic - 6 cloves, peeled
  • Red cayenne chilli - 3 large or 4 medium, whole, roughly sliced
  • Smoked Paprika - 4 teaspoons
  • Low sodium light soy sauce - 2-4 tablespoons
  • Sea salt - 1 pinch
  • Black pepper - 1 pinch
For the sauce
  • Coconut milk - 200ml, full fat
To Stuff the Chicken
  • Organic whole chicken - 1.25kg
  • Shallot - 4
  • Ginger - 1-inch piece, peeled, whole
Seasoning the chicken
  • Lemon - 1 large, zest
  • Sea salt - 2 large pinches
  • Black pepper - 10 grinds
For the rice
  • Basmati rice - 500g, wahsed until the water runs clear
  • Chicken stock - 500ml
  • Filtered water - 400ml
  • Salt - 1 pinch
  • Ground white pepper - 1 pinch
For frying the rice
  • Rapeseed oil - 1 tablespoon
  • White onion - 1 large, peeled and diced
  • Raisins - 100g
  • Spring onion - 3-4, top tailed, sliced to 1cm rounds (keep some for garnish)
  • Smoky Bacon Lardons - 200g, diced to 1cm cubes
  • Turmeric - 1 teaspoon
  • Smoked Paprika - ½ teaspoon