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Taste of Home: Macanese coconut chicken

BY Sandy Tang

6th Sep 2022 Recipes

Taste of Home: Macanese coconut chicken
How well do you know Macanese food? MasterChef finalist Sandy Tang shares this delicious aromatic recipe that she learnt from her mum before moving to the UK
This is a classic Macanese dish showcasing the use of spices, coconut, and flavours from other parts of the world, brought by Portuguese sailors on the trading route. This is a much-loved dish in my family and the first dish I cooked in the MasterChef kitchen! My mum taught me how to cook this dish just before I moved to the UK when I was 13—she wanted to make sure I knew how to make something tasty if I needed to cook myself a meal. It’s a very straight-forward recipe—within 45 minutes you could be dishing up this aromatic, one-pot bake to the table. 
Macanese Coconut Chicken with Egg Fried Rice


  • 900 g Boneless chicken (approx. 4 large chicken leg with thigh)
  • 500 g Potatoes
  • 250 g Carrots
  • 2 Medium onions
  • 1 Large shallot
  • 4 cloves Garlic , chopped
  • 40 g Butter (approx. 3 tbsp)
  • 4 tbsp Flour
  • 1 ½ c Chicken broth
  • 1 tsp Salt (adjust salt to accommodate for various salt levels in broth and curry sauce)
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Turmeric for chicken
  • 1 tsp Turmeric for sauce
  • 2 tsp Curry powder or paste
  • 2 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tbsp Dark soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp Coconut flakes for sauce
  • 2 tbsp Coconut flakes for sprinkling on top
  • 250 ml Coconut milk
  • 4 tbsp Evaporated milk
  • 5 tbsp Oil
For the chicken marinade:  
Serve with egg fried rice.
Macanese Coconut Chicken with Egg Fried Rice


  • Cut chicken to approx. 3 cm pieces You can also use bone-in chicken
  • Cut and peel potatoes, carrots and onions into wedges approx. 3 cm in size
  • Slice shallots and chop garlic
  • Marinate chicken with 1 tsp light soy sauce, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp salt and 2 tsp cornstarch. Marinate for 15 minutes
  • In a braising pot or pan, melt 40 g of butter on medium-low heat to make roux
  • Add 3 tbsp of flour into the melted butter, and stir until butter and flour have mixed evenly
  • Add 1 ½ cup of chicken broth to the roux. Stir until smooth and evenly blended. Turn off heat
  • Heat wok to medium-high and add 5 tbsp of oil
  • Add carrots to the oil and fry for 1 minute then add it to the braising pot using a wire strainer, leaving the oil in the wok. Alternatively, just add the carrots to the braising pot carrots are less likely to break than potatoes during braising but frying them a bit enhances their flavour
  • Add potatoes to the wok and fry until golden Frying the potatoes first will ensure that they will not break apart during braising and it’ll enhance the flavour of the potatoes
  • Remove the potatoes using a wire strainer, leaving the oil in the wok, place the potatoes into the braising pot with the roux
  • Fry onions, shallot and garlic together. Fry until aromatic. Remove using a wire strainer, leaving the oil in the wok, place into the braising pot with the roux
  • Turn the heat on medium for the braising pot and stir occasionally
  • There should be oil left in the wok, but if not, add 1-2 more tablespoons
  • Turn heat up to high
  • Add the chicken to the wok. Arrange them in a single layer and let it cook by itself for 1 minute
  • Add 1 tbsp of turmeric, 2 tsp of curry powder or sauce and 1 tsp sugar to the chicken and start to stir-fry the chicken
  • Flip the chicken over to the other side and let it cook for another 1 minute
  • Add 2 tbsp of Shaoxing wine to the wok and continue stir-frying for 30 seconds In total, the chicken should only be fried for approx. 3-4 minutes
  • Put the chicken into the braising pot
  • Add 4 tbsp of coconut flakes, 250 ml coconut milk, 1 tsp turmeric and 1 tbsp dark soy sauce into the pot. Mix well
  • Turn the heat down to low, cover with lid and check back in 10 minutes
  • Stir and taste the sauce, add approx. 1 tsp salt if necessary. Cover with lid and braise for another 10 minutes or until the potatoes and carrots are soft
  • Do this step if you want to make Portuguese Coconut Chicken with Rice Casserole: Fry cooked rice with some oil, add eggs onto the rice and stir-fry until egg is mixed with the rice and the rice is fluffy. Then put the rice into a casserole dish Frying the rice will prevent the rice from becoming mushy
  • Once the potatoes and carrots have softened, add 4 tbsp evaporated milk, mix and put everything into a casserole dish
  • Sprinkle with 2 tbsp of coconut flakes
  • Broil in the oven for 5 minutes or until coconut flakes turn golden colour
  • Serve

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