Macanese Portuguese Chicken (Galinha a Portuguesa)

This dish cannot be found in Portugal. It can, however, be found in Macau and is the culmination of the 16th century Portuguese colonization. Portuguese spice trade ships travelled from Mozambique (peppers) to Goa (curry spices) to Malaysia (coconut milk and jasmine rice) to the Chinese territory of Macau (soy sauce and Shaoxing wine). Throw in the creativity skills of the Macau chefs and this wonderful fusion of cultures comes to life.

Galinha a Portuguesa - Macanese Curried Chicken

Galinha a Portuguesa – Macanese Curried Chicken

Despite the name, Portuguese chicken did not originate in Portugal but rather Macau, China. Its coconut curry sauce has more in common with the mild yellow curry of Southeast Asia than the Portuguese or Cantonese dishes influencing Macanese cuisine.
4.67 from 3 votes
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Course: Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese, Portuguese, Southern China
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Marinate: 4 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • Pot
  • Large skillet or wok
  • Ovenproof casserole


  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp Corn starch
  • 2 tbsp Chicken broth
  • 1 tsp Black pepper
  • 2 tsp Soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine or sherry
  • 2 lb Chicken thighs
  • 1 Large potato, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 14.5 oz Can of coconut milk
  • 5 tbsp Evaporated milk
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 1 Medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • tbsp Curry powder


  • In a large ziplock bag, combine cornstarch, salt, pepper, sugar, chicken broth, ½ the soy sauce, and wine. Add chicken and toss to coat. Seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up-to 6.
  • Bring potato cubes and water to cover to a boil. Cook until softened but still firm in the center, about 7-9 minutes. Drain and put in a bowl.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Whisk the coconut milk, evaporated milk, and ½ cup of water in a bowl.
  • In a wok or deep skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and curry powder, stirring until soft, about 7-8 minutes. Add the chicken and brown on both sides, another 5-6 minutes. Add the potatoes and remaining soy sauce and continue cooking another minute. Stir in the coconut milk mixture and bring to a simmer. Cook about 20 minutes more until the potatoes and chicken are cooked through and the sauce has thickened.
  • Pour everything into a baking dish large enough to hold the chicken in a single layer, skin side up. Bake until the top is browned, about 15-20 minutes. Remove and serve over jasmine rice.


Calories: 556kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 152mg | Sodium: 660mg | Potassium: 708mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 166IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 4mg

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