African chicken by Henri’s Galley Link copied
One of the best-known Macanese dishes, African chicken by Henri's Galley will take your palate on a flavour-packed journey.
- 1 Chicken (roughly 1 kilogram)
- 20g Olive oil
- 10g Garlic, chopped
- 100g Chili pepper, chopped
- 20g Cooking wine
- 1 litre Chicken stock
- 60g Tomato, chopped
- 10g Tomato paste
- 15g Peanut butter
- 30g Ground coconut
Macao is home to the first style of fusion food, Macanese cuisine, which is believed to have emerged over 450 years ago when the Portuguese established international trade routes, linking Europe, Africa and Asia.
A melting pot of flavours, multicultural Macanese food merges Portuguese cuisine with ingredients and techniques from across the spice trade – primarily Africa, India, Malaysia and southern China. Today, the cuisine, which earned the city the Creative City of Gastronomy distinction by UNESCO in 2017, has become synonymous with Macao heritage and food traditions.
One of the star dishes in Macanese cuisine is African chicken, which gained popularity in the early 1950s, and many say it’s a local take on chicken piri-piri, a popular dish across southern Africa. Rich, spicy and savoury, the dish is made with a sauce of peanut sauce, tomatoes, coconut milk or ground coconut, Indian chilli pepper and paprika. Though its name suggests otherwise, African chicken originates in Macao, and you’d be hard-pressed to find this unique dish beyond the city’s borders.
Those looking to enjoy African chicken in Macao can find one of the best versions of the dish at local institution Henri’s Galley. Founded half a century ago, the owner Raymond Vong says his father, the restaurant’s founder, “might have not invented the recipe, but sure did perfect it.”
The recipe for African chicken a la Henri’s Galley is no secret; in fact, it’s printed on the restaurant’s place mats. But with Vong’s blessing, now you can try the recipe or share it with friends anytime you like. Enjoy!
1. Cut the whole chicken into halves, pressing each side to make them flatter.
2. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Place the chicken in the pot, skin side down, and let it cook until the skin turns brown. Turn the chicken over so the other side is cooked and sealed, too.
3. Remove the chicken from the pot. Add garlic and chilli pepper.
4. Once the garlic and chilli have simmered in olive oil, add the cooking wine. Let it cook for 3 to 4 minutes (allowing the alcohol in the wine to evaporate) before adding the chicken stock, followed by the remaining ingredients (chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, peanut butter and ground coconut).
5. Place the chicken halves back into the pot. Let the chicken cook in the sauce for 5 minutes. Reduce to lower heat and let it simmer for another 12 minutes while the flavours develop (the amount of time will depend on the size of the chicken; if you’re using a bigger bird, let it cook for a little longer).
6. Remove from the heat and serve while hot. Enjoy!