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Gail Tsukiyama's Macanese-Style Portuguese Chicken

A book club recipe for Gail Tsukiyama's Macanese-Style Portuguese Chicken inspired by her novel, THE COLOR OF AIR
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Macanese, Portuguese
Servings 6


  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 1teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce, divided
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine, or dry sherry
  • 2 pounds chicken thighs, drumsticks, and wings
  • 1 large russet potato peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 10½ ounce can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons evaporated milk
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • Cooked jasmine rice or dinner rolls, for serving


  • In a large bowl, stir the cornstarch, bouillon, salt, sugar, and pepper. Add 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce and the Shaoxing wine or sherry, mix well, then add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 6 hours.
  • In a medium pot, add the potatoes and enough cold water to cover them by 2 inches. Bring to a boil and cook until softened but still firm at the center, 7–9 minutes. Drain and place by the stove.
  • Place a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 375°F. In a medium bowl, whisk the cream of chicken soup, coconut milk, evaporated milk, and ½ cup water. Set it near the stove.
  • In a wok or deep skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil. Once hot, add the onion and curry powder. Cook, stirring, until softened and translucent, 7–8 minutes. Add the chicken pieces and cook, turning occasionally, until lightly browned all over, 5–6 minutes. Add the potatoes and remaining tablespoon of soy sauce, and continue stir-frying until the sauce is almost completely evaporated, about 30 seconds. Stir in the coconut-milk mixture to coat, and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes and chicken are cooked through and the sauce is thick and creamy, about 20–25 minutes.
  • Pour the contents of the wok into an 8-inch square baking dish. Bake until the top is browned and bubbly, 15–20 minutes. Serve over cooked jasmine rice or with crusty bread.


The secret to this curried chicken and rice recipe from SAVEUR is a can of condensed cream of chicken soup.
Keyword Macanese-Style Portuguese Chicken