Thursday, January 09, 2003

This dish is not really Portuguese (unless by way of Goa); I modified it to be neither baked nor chicken.

Subbed in Chinese fried tofu puffs and charmingly named Veat nuggets for the chicken, and veggie broth for the chicken broth. Added broccoli. Skipped turmeric. Simmered whole thing on stove and skipped egg-and-coconut-bake thing. It was good. I used a little of the coconut milk to help cook the medium-grain rice (sprinkled it with ginger, too). I also just realized that I completely left the salt and pepper out of the recipe. What the hell is wrong with me? Perhaps the sodium in the Veat and bouillon cubes made up for it.

Portuguese Baked Chicken

This dish is a very good example of Macanese cuisine.
The influences of Malaya and India come through in the
coconut and curry whilst the olives and tomato paste
are distinctly Portuguese.

4 large chicken legs -completely thawed if frozen
2 medium onions
2 large tomatoes
2 large potatoes
1 large bay leaf - torn into pieces
Portuguese olive oil
2 tsp tomato paste
50 g black olives
1 cup thick coconut milk
1¼ cups chicken stock
1 tbsp shredded coconut
1 egg
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp mild curry powder (Malay type is perfect)
Salt and pepper

Pre-heat oven to 160C/350F

Cut each leg into two at the joint, sprinkle with
salt, pepper and bay leaf, mix well and leave to
marinate for at least one hour.

Peel potatoes and onions and cut into 1” cubes,
quarter the tomatoes. Fry the potatoes in hot oil
(about 3 tbsp) till just beginning to brown, remove
from pan and set aside. Fry the chicken in the same
oil till golden brown all over. Return the potatoes to
the pan, add the chicken stock and simmer very gently,
covered, for about 10 minutes.

Remove the chicken and potatoes from the stock and
place in an ovenproof dish. Add the tomatoes, onions,
olives, turmeric, curry powder and tomato paste to the
stock in the pan and simmer gently, uncovered and
stirring occasionally, till the mixture thickens
slightly (about 10 minutes). Pour it over the chicken
and potatoes, add the coconut milk, and stir gently to
mix through. Lightly beat the egg and pour it
carefully over the top, do not mix in, and sprinkle
with shredded coconut. Cook, uncovered, in the oven
till the chicken is tender and the top browned - about
20/30 minutes.

Serve with hot white rice and crusty bread to soak up
the juices.

Serves 4

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