Samuel’s Macanese Chicken Recipe | Macau, China


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Macau, is one of two special administrative regions of the People’s Republic of China – the other being Hong Kong. Macau lies on the western side of the Pearl River Delta, bordering Guangdong province to the north and facing the South China Sea in the east and south.


 Macanese cuisine is unique to Macau, China consisting of a blend of southern Chinese and Portuguese cuisines, with significant influences from Southeast Asia and the Lusophone world. Many unique dishes resulted from the spice blends that the wives of Portuguese sailors used in an attempt to replicate European dishes. Its ingredients and seasonings include those from Europe, Latin America, Africa, India, and Southeast Asia, as well as local Chinese ingredients.

Common cooking techniques include baking, grilling and roasting. The former, seldom seen in other styles of Chinese cooking, speaks to the eclectic nature of Macanese cooking. It is renowned for its flavour-blending culture, and modern Macanese cuisine may be considered a type of fusion cuisine.

Typically, Macanese food is seasoned with various spices including turmeric, coconut milk, cinnamon and bacalhau, giving special aromas and tastes.


Samuel’s Macanese African Chicken

Macanese African Chicken was invented in the 1940’s in Macau, China (at the time a former Portuguese colony) by a chef paying homage to both Portugal’s Moorish history, Chinese surroundings and proximity to South East Asia.  This is my take on the dish, after gaining access to several recipes, combining what I felt were the best elements and finally manipulating them with a few twists of my own.


1kg (preferably skinless/boneless) chicken breasts


  • 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ cup parsley
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of paprika
  • 2 tablespoons of ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of salt & pepper (each)
  • 2 hot chile peppers, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons water


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 can (473 ml) coconut milk
  • 5 tablespoons of peanut butter
  • 5 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar

Preparation Instructions

1)  Mix all ingredients for the marinade together, coating the chicken; refrigerating overnight.

2)  Mix together the ingredients of the basting sauce in food processor; puree until smooth.

3)  Brown chicken with marinade for about 10 minutes.

4)  Transfer everything to the roasting pan; roast at 425°F in the oven for 40 minutes.

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  1. says: Diana

    Exactly what do you do with the sauce — is it poured over the chick after it is transferred to the roasting pan?

  2. says: Ayngelina

    One of my favourite memories of Macau, unfortunately I vomited the chicken on the way back to Hong Kong on the ferry. I would bet your homage is very close, the paprika is true to the Portugese roots.

    1. Oh, that’s unfortunate to hear about what happened on your ferry ride back to Hong Kong. I’ve taken that ferry twice and it can be really choppy at times. Thanks, I bet you could do a much better job of it than me 🙂 I’m generally all thumbs in the kitchen.

    1. If I don’t burn down the kitchen in the process, I’d love to do that 🙂 I still can’t make it as good as the restaurant that I ate it at in 2008 when I was in Macau 😛

  3. Photos look great as usual and of course thanks for the recipe! This post seemed as if the font was really small compared to the font used on a font I just say of a sleeping dog. It made it hard to make out the post and the ingredients.