As my mom grew up in Macau, baked Portuguese chicken rice is one of my favourite things to eat. It’s not really a Portuguese dish but originates from Macau. If you’ve never had it before, its basically chicken and potatoes on top of fried rice, smothered in a creamy yellow sauce and then baked. (And when my uncle took me to my grandpa’s favourite restaurant in Macau to eat this dish, it had chorizo in it too.) You can easily find this in any Hong Kong style restaurant. Sounds simple but I had never been able to pinpoint what the exact flavours in it are.
I’ve been craving this dish but short of a plane ride to Vancouver, I was not very close to getting it. I’ve researched recipes online on and off for months (apparently I have way too much time on my hands!) but none of them sounded quite right to me. There were certain ingredients which I agreed on but that was about it. Some have curry powder in it but I’m pretty sure there’s not supposed to be any actual curry; it’s just that the sauce is yellow! I had the same experience when I wanted to make hong kong style baked pork chop rice and couldn’t find a recipe I liked so I had to come up with my own. And what’s super exciting (to me anyway) is if you google this dish now, my recipe is the very first link that comes up and I get multiple hits on that recipe from all over the world everyday! Hopefully this recipe will be just as popular!
This recipe has 3 parts; the fried rice, the chicken, and the sauce:
~ 4 cups of cooked rice that has been refrigerated for at least a few hours, preferably overnight / 2 large eggs / canola oil / salt and pepper to taste
~ 6 skinless and boneless chicken thighs / 1/2 medium yellow onion / 2 cloves garlic / 1 medium white potato / 1/2 link of chorizo / canola oil / salt to taste
1 can coconut milk / 1 cup chicken broth / 1 pinch of ground cumin / 2 tsp ground turmeric / 3 tbsp cornstarch / salt to taste
First, preheat the oven to 350F and then start on the fried rice. The way I like to make it is just heat up some oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat then add the cold rice in. Stir around and let it heat up then make a little well in the middle of the rice. In a small bowl, scramble the eggs with a bit of salt and pepper and then pour into the middle of the rice. Let it cook for just a little bit then just stir fry it all together until it’s cooked to your liking and then set aside in a large pie plate or casserole.
Next, cube up the potato into roughly 1 inch pieces and bring to a boil in a small saucepan of water until fork tender. In the meantime, mince the garlic, roughly chop up the onion, slice up the chorizo and cube the chicken thighs again into roughly 1 inch pieces. Heat up some oil in the frying pan over medium to medium-high heat and toss in the garlic and onion and let it cook a bit. Add in the chicken and let it brown up a bit and then add the chorizo and potatoes. Let it cook, giving it a stir every now and again for about 8 to 10 minutes.
Next, throw together the sauce. In a medium size saucepan over medium heat, mix together the coconut milk, chicken broth, turmeric and cumin. When it’s heated up a bit, mix the cornstarch with some cold water (it should have the consistency of milk) and then pour that in and bring it to a boil while constantly whisking for at least a minute. It should thicken up quite a bit. Season to taste with some salt.
Now assemble it all together. Layer the chicken, potatoes and chorizo mixture over the rice. Then pour the sauce all over top. Toss into the oven and let it bake for about 20 minutes and you’re done!
I’m quite happy with the results! The sauce tastes really close, I think, to what you can find in restaurants and I think that’s the key part. If anyone has any suggestions for making this dish, I would love that but overall I’m happy with this. Rock says it’s very good and tastes like what he’s had out in Vancouver. Yay!