Coconut Chicken


Chicken can be a little boring, especially because my divers only enjoy the barbecue version. They tend to complain about all the other options planned to avoid monotony: fricassee, stew with petit pois, creamed with mushrooms, coq au vin, pasta chicken, rich tomato sauce chicken with polenta, and a couple of others escaping right now.


I guess it was the boring factor making Andy step from his usual lamb or barbecue marinades to venture a new chicken dish: coconut chicken. That’s a very Mozambican way of preparing the chicken for barbecue, here called Galinha à Zambeziana or Zambezian Chicken.


Above all, Zambezian chiken is a clever way of using available local ingredients. Clean and cut your barbecue chicken the way you like. Rub it well with a paste of crushed garlic and salt. Piri-piri or pepper is optional at this stage, because you can dip your chicken in piri-piri sauce while you eat it.


Break a fresh coconut to get the white part and grate it in your blender, adding a generous portion of hot water. You can also add the coconut milk, if present. From that coconut paste you have to obtain a milk-like liquid. When cold, you will cover your garlic chicken with it and leave the chicken soaking overnight or at least a couple of hours. You can also use the coconut marinade during the grill process, with a kitchen brush. The chicken obtained is unusually tender and moist. It’s nice the contrast of the sweetness of the flesh and the very hot sauce served with it.


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