African Chicken (Macanese One-Pan Chicken Curry, 非洲鸡)

4.95 from 20 votes
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Juicy chicken with crispy skin, tender potato, and colorful peppers are brought together by a peanut butter and coconut based sauce. Sweet, savory, nutty, and spicy! And it all comes together in one pan, fuss-free.

African Chicken (Macanese One-Pan Chicken Curry, 非洲鸡) | One Pot | Recipes | Chicken | curry | Easy | Coconut | Healthy | Casserole | Thighs | Baked | Stew | Peanut Butter

African chicken (非洲鸡), or Macanese chicken curry, is an undiscovered treasure in Chinese cuisine. Although the name contains “African”, it is actually an African-influenced Portuguese cuisine that was adapted by Chinese chefs during the colonial era of Macau. The dish is a melting pot, indicated by its history and ingredient list – oyster sauce, curry powder, coconut milk, peanut butter, and olive oil, all in one pot.

African Chicken (Macanese One-Pan Chicken Curry, 非洲鸡) | One Pot | Recipes | Chicken | curry | Easy | Coconut | Healthy | Casserole | Thighs | Baked | Stew | Peanut Butter

I encountered African chicken when I traveled to Macau back in 2012. Before I put the first piece of chicken in my mouth, the tangy aroma of sweet nuttiness and smoked spiciness had whet my appetite. When I sliced the first morsel of chicken that lay in the creamy sauce, I found the edges of the chicken skin beautifully charred, with the grease seeping from within the tender meat. With the first bite, I felt my mouth burst with the sweet, spicy aroma and vibrant nutty flavor.

African chicken let me experience something new and different. The chicken has a crispy skin, smoky taste and juicy texture as a result of being grilled, yet it has so much flavor from the hearty sauce that is only achievable through braising. The sauce has a sweetness from the peanut butter and coconut milk, but it is balanced by the pungent flavor of the curry powder and fresh herbs. It results in a familiar, savory taste that is reminiscent of Chinese cuisine.

African Chicken (Macanese One-Pan Chicken Curry, 非洲鸡) | One Pot | Recipes | Chicken | curry | Easy | Coconut | Healthy | Casserole | Thighs | Baked | Stew | Peanut Butter

The most thorough and authentic recipe I’ve found is the African Chicken Curry recipe in The Adventures of Fat Rice: Recipes from the Chicago Restaurant Inspired by Macau. However, the recipe is not practical to replicate in your home kitchen. The recipe contains about 20 ingredients. And you have to make almost every one of those ingredients from scratch!

In order to make the dish possible to cook, even on a weekday evening, I’ve reduced the process to a minimum.

It takes 10 minutes to prepare and 10 minutes of active cooking time. Then you can lay back and let your oven work the magic.

The result? I finally experienced the delicious taste of Macau again, this time at home!

African Chicken (Macanese One-Pan Chicken Curry, 非洲鸡) | One Pot | Recipes | Chicken | curry | Easy | Coconut | Healthy | Casserole | Thighs | Baked | Stew | Peanut Butter

A Few Notes & Tips

I published this recipe back in 2014, and made some major changes in 2017. Here are some cooking tips and change notes that document the update.

(1) Choose whatever cuts you prefer.

You can use chopped whole chicken, chicken drumsticks, boneless thighs, or even chicken breast. My favorite cut is skin-on bone-in thighs, because they are easy to prepare, tender, and more flavorful. If you’re using boneless thighs or chicken breast, reduce baking time to 30 minutes.

(2) The dish is less spicy now.

I decided to skip the cayenne powder this time, so the dish will be more balanced without too much spice. However, if you love a spicier dish, consider adding 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of cayenne powder to the sauce.

(3) Choose how you’d like your peppers.

I’ve baked the peppers with the chicken, so they will be a bit overcooked at the end and will become very tender. It you prefer a fresh and crisp pepper, add the peppers 20 minutes into baking, or you can stir fry the pepper separately on the stovetop and add to the stew at the end of baking.

(4) Rice is a must-have!

Traditionally the dish is served with steamed white rice in Macau. My husband and I prefer a healthier meal, so we enjoy serving it over brown rice or mixed grains. It is so yummy!

(5) The ultimate way to prepare this dish.

Use a charcoal grill to sear the chicken to crispness before baking. It’s the real way to create that authentic smoky chicken!

(6) The leftovers taste even better.

I skipped the marinating process and made this dish easier to make even on a weekday evening. The sauce is so flavorful and the dish is ready once cooked. However, the leftovers will taste better because the spices in the curry will have had enough time to blend into the sauce.

Top the hot rice with crispy chicken, colorful peppers, and tender potato, ladle with a spoonful of the nutty creamy sauce. Dinner will be so comforting, healthy, and delicious!

African Chicken Cooking Process

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African Chicken (Macanese One-Pan Chicken Curry, 非洲鸡) | One Pot | Recipes | Chicken | curry | Easy | Coconut | Healthy | Casserole | Thighs | Baked | Stew | Peanut Butter

If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it @omnivorescookbook on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with.

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African Chicken (Macanese One-Pan Chicken Curry, 非洲鸡) | One Pot | Recipes | Chicken | curry | Easy | Coconut | Healthy | Casserole | Thighs | Baked | Stew | Peanut Butter

African Chicken (Macanese One-Pan Chicken Curry, 非洲鸡)

4.95 from 20 votes
Juicy chicken with crispy skin, tender potato, and colorful peppers are brought together by a peanut butter and coconut based sauce. Sweet, savory, nutty, and spicy! And it all comes together in one pan, fuss free.
Author: Maggie Zhu
Course: Main
Cuisine: Chinese, Macanese
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6 servings


  • 2 pound (1-kg) bone-in skin-on chicken thighs and/or legs (*Footnote 1)

Spice mix


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion , sliced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger , minced
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 tablespoon paprika powder
  • 2 tablespoons Madras curry powder
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 can (270-millimeter / 9 ounce) coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 (14 ounces / 400 grams) russet potato , peeled and chopped
  • 2 bell peppers , chopped
  • Chopped parsley for garnish (Optional)


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 C).
  • Combine all the ingredients of the spice mix. Sprinkle on both sides of the chicken.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add chicken, skin side down. Cook until both sides turn dark brown and crispy, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken onto a big plate.
  • Turn to medium heat. Add the rest of the 1 tablespoon of olive oil and onion. Cook until it becomes tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Add ginger and garlic. Stir fry for 30 seconds, to release the aroma.
  • Add paprika powder and curry powder. Stir until the ingredients are well coated with spices, 20 to 30 seconds.
  • Add chicken stock, coconut milk, peanut butter, oyster sauce, and bay leaves. Stir with a spatula to dissolve the peanut butter until it’s well blended with the sauce. Bring to the boil.
  • Add potato, peppers, and chicken to the curry. Transfer the pan to the oven. Bake until the chicken is cooked through and the skin crispy, about 45 minutes.
  • Serve hot over steamed rice.


1. Boneless skinless thigh or chicken breast will work too. In this case, change baking time to 30 to 35 minutes, until the inner temperature reaches 165 F (74 C).


Serving: 1serving of the 6 servings, Calories: 579kcal, Carbohydrates: 26.7g, Protein: 25.6g, Fat: 44.1g, Cholesterol: 56mg, Sodium: 531mg, Potassium: 748mg, Fiber: 6.3g, Sugar: 8.6g
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Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. mira says:

    5 stars
    I’ve never tried African chicken Maggie, but this one looks absolutely delicious! I love the sweetness and other wonderful flavors in it! I’ll probably double the potato, since I love chicken with potatoes! Pinning!

  2. 5 stars
    Maggie! This is right up my alley – I love love LOVE the flavours you have used in this! I really like “flavour explosions”, as my family calls it! This is sensational! I literally want to make this RIGHT NOW! I feel that this will be a great one to try on the BBQ as well. Easy to prepare in advance then grill on the outdoor grill. Easy to make alot of too! I love this! Really love this, I am trying it soon!

  3. Thalia @ butter and brioche says:

    5 stars
    Wow this chicken looks delicious and SO flavoursome. Definitely a dish I need to make for dinner!

  4. Bam's Kitchen says:

    5 stars
    This dish looks amazing and browning it in the oven looks like the perfect way to obtain the flavors of this Macau dish. I think your recipe sounds pretty simple and can’t wait to try this at home. I know all Asian dishes have a long list of ingredients but it is everything we already have in our staples, so no worries. Have a super week.

  5. Balvinder says:

    I am having breakfast but your hearty chicken bowl with vegetables is making me hungry for lunch!

  6. Helen @ Scrummy Lane says:

    I adore fusion food, and especially ANYTHING with coconut milk and peanuts in it! Mmmm … I really wish I had this for dinner tonight! 🙂

  7. Kathleen | HapaNom says:

    Wow! This looks absolutely incredible!!! I love the all of the flavors you’ve got going on in here! And omg, your photos are exquisite!

  8. Sarah says:

    This chicken looks so juicy and flavorful – I love the sauce over it. I haven’t eaten or heard of African Chicken as a Chinese dish before, but now that I know it exists I must try it next time I got o a restaurant — and try your recipe when I’m feeling ambitious! 🙂 Great pictures, I love the step-by-step!

  9. Robyn says:

    5 stars
    Wow, Maggie, you hit a home run with this dish. Tenderness, flavour, juicy, and beautiful to look at! I will definitely be making this as I am eating more chicken lately and I love loads of interesting flavour – beautiful!

  10. Kelly - Life Made Sweeter says:

    This chicken looks so flavorful and delicious! I’ve never had African chicken before but the flavors sound fabulous!

  11. Susan @ Culinary Envy says:

    Oh my goodness, I know what I’m making this weekend! Love the peanut butter and coconut milk combination. Pinned!

  12. Stan says:

    Hi Maggie,
    I’ve made your African Chicken recipe twice in the past 2 weeks and it’s been a real winner each time! I served the chicken together with your Hong Shao Eggplant dish and the pairing worked beautifully. I really appreciate your advice and technique. You really know how to cook!

    • Maggie says:

      Thanks so much for your kind word Stan! The African chicken is one of our favorites, and I’m glad to hear you enjoy it as well 🙂 Love the idea of pairing it with the eggplant dish. Yum!

  13. Janette says:

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious!! I used Hungarian hot paprika, so mine had some kick. The sauce is incredible with rice.

    • Maggie says:

      I’m glad to hear you like the dish Janette! I know, the sauce is so good!

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Terence, you can use any types of curry powder to cook this dish. Happy cooking and let me know how the dish turns out! 🙂

  14. whirlybird007 says:

    5 stars
    I just made this this weekend. It was delicious, and you’re right, the leftovers are even better! I thought the peanut butter and coconut milk would be more pronounced, but it all blended very smoothly into the curry. The potatoes were a little toothy, I might add them a little earlier next time. Overall, wonderful! Thank you!

  15. Emma from Royston says:

    5 stars
    OMG another stunner from Maggie. I cooked this for a family dinner with chicken and it went down a storm. So I did it again for my ladies film club evening with fish (several of them don’t eat meat) and everyone wanted the recipe. Totally delicious, easy to make and going be a regular in my repertoire from now on.

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Emma, I’m so glad to hear you and your friends like the dish! It’s very interesting that you cooked it with fish. I think it will taste very good! Can’t wait to try it myself the next time.
      Thanks so much for sharing! Hope you have a great day 🙂

  16. Andrew Waters says:

    This recipe caught my eye as being a little ‘different’….oyster sauce with indian spices…?….who knew?
    But we loved it.
    I think the use of a better quality, unsalted peanut butter made a difference to my usual currys using that ingredient, and the only change I made to the recipe was to pre-cook my onions for ages so they caramelise . Little washing up, and very easy to follow. Yet to experience the leftovers, but I’m looking forward to it!

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Andrew, I’m so happy to hear you tried the recipe and liked the result! It does look weird isn’t it? 🙂
      Great idea of caramelizing the onions! It sounds so yummy. I can’t wait to try it out the next time. Thanks so much for taking time to leave a comment and share your tip! Have a great day.

  17. Katie says:

    I’m cooking this tonight but want it to taste as good as the leftovers claim to be! Can I leave it in oven on low for a few hours?

  18. Kim McKenzie says:

    5 stars
    Nothing to add, only thing I changed was using sweet potatoes instead of white. This was quite simply the best thing I’ve ever made, according to everyone I’ve shared it with, and even myself. I don’t usually like my cooking as much as others enjoy it. But…this is amazing. The South African woman who works in my office smelled the leftovers warming in the microwave and said it smelled like home even before I told her the name and what was in it. Apparently the name is appropriate, even if it is Macanese! Thanks for sharing it with the world!

  19. Amy Peng says:

    How would this work with almond butter? My son is allergic to peanuts and I’m looking for an alternative. I’m dying to try it!

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Amy, I believe almond butter will work just fine! The note of the sauce will change a bit but the dish will remain tasty 🙂
      Happy cooking!

  20. Kirk says:

    Yeah, this dish is absolutely fantastic. A hit with everyone, including kids. I happened to have homemade Madras curry powder that I use for vindaloo. I’d like your permission to bottle the aroma of this dish into a cologne. You’ll get 15% royalties of course.

  21. She says:

    5 stars
    Made this tonight for dinner, only change I made was added an extra potato and only had one green pepper. I followed the recipe exactly otherwise, it turned out great! The flavours are fantastic, enjoyed this dish very much. Thanks for the recipe!

  22. Keith says:

    5 stars
    Hello from social distancing, and ongoing raids to the back of the cupboard. And tonight’s question is “Is Keens Curry Powder close enough to Madras curry powder?” Answer: who cares, smells good and add some cayenne for a little extra heat if you need it.
    Thank you for this recipe, much appreciated.

  23. Liz says:

    5 stars
    This is one of the most delicious recipes I’ve ever tried. The blend of paprika, madras curry, peanut butter and coconut milk is wonderful – like a rich Thai curry. Thank you!

  24. Leonard Dodson says:

    5 stars
    Thanks for this recipe Maggie. I made it for my wife last night. She initially raised her eyebrows over the name, but ended up loving it as I did. I think I had the 2017 updated copy and followed it to the letter except for using the entire can of Coconut milk. We will definitely try this again, and are looking forward to the left-overs. I will also check the updated instructions that reduce the prep time, as I am old and slow.
    Ed Dodson

  25. Daniel says:

    5 stars
    I went to Bordeaux last year and found a fantastic little African restaurant still open late at night. I had a chicken dish can’t recall the name but can distinctly remember the ingredients and it was incredible, so much going on.. discovered this recipe today and gave it a shot.. it was delicious… I added some chopped chillies but other than that stayed pretty close to the recipe.. I cooked for a little longer 1 and half hours and it was perfect! Absolute dinner winner!

  26. Liz says:

    5 stars
    I’ve made this several times. Very easy, extremely tasty. I’ve altered it by using sweet potato instead of russet, and by adding thick sliced carrots. Everyone I’ve gotten to try it has loved it. This might be my favorite recipe on your website. Thanks so much!

  27. Gina Rios says:

    Tudah Rbah (thank you very much). I am excited to make this on HaZaH YUM HaCNaH L: SHBT (this preparation day, for SHBT).

    • Gina Rios says:

      Oooops, I forgot to say. I will be substituting the oyster sauce (not CSHR) for less soy sauce & brown sugar. I skip the bay leaves entirely, as who needs those dangers . Amen. And most importantly, the Messiah is the ONLY way to Everlasting Life. If you believe that He died on the cross , Resurrected 3 days later (presenting Himself as First Fruits to the Father), & is the Son of the Creator, ask Him to be your Savior. (The Creator ‘s Name is Hayah asher Hayah, as He told Mose /Exodus 3:14).

  28. Mike Dennis says:

    5 stars
    my girlfriend an I thoroughly enjoy this delicious meal . your recipe was easy to follow .

  29. JuliAnn Blam says:

    5 stars
    I lived in & worked Macau for a while, and have missed this dish since leaving. Trying to emulate it at home in the USA was a trick. I got close but not quite right. Something was missing. But this recipe nails it! *** The secret is the oyster sauce.!*** It just adds a certain depth of flavor that you can’t achieve with out it! I never would have figured that out on my own. Thanks Maggie!

  30. K says:

    5 stars
    Made it last night and it was awesome. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  31. George says:

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! But it takes more than 10 minutes of cooking time. Also, the recipe didn’t say if to cover the pan in oven for 45 minutes or leave it uncovered.

  32. mainmati says:

    4 stars
    Great recipe. It has elements of Senegalese Chicken Yassa and various West African chicken stews with spicy peanut sauce. I doupaprikabled the onion (sliced) and cooked it in the sew for a long time. The chicken is grilled separately (chicken thighs) and then added for a good thirty minutes. Love the bell peppers too. I added habanero pepper that has been punctured and just left to sit in the stew then removed at the end to add just the right floral spiciness. But, as always taste as you go to ensure just the right combination of flavors. As always, the aromatics, especially garlic, Dijon mustard, bay leaf and smoked paprika (in my case).

  33. Justine says:

    I loved this recipe. I made two peanut dishes for friends, some veggie, some not, chose a different chicken recipe for the others. This veggie one was hands down the favourite by a mile. Totally delicious! We will be cooking this again, just the right mix of spices and flavour. Thank you for sharing.

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