Easy Black Sauce Chicken with Potatoes
A simple dish for children and non-spicy food lovers! This Malaysian-Portuguese dish has its gravy thick and savoury, melt-in-the-mouth, creamy potatoes and tasty, tender chicken. I love making this Black Sauce Chicken with Potatoes in big portions as it’s very easy to keep in batches and re-heat for family meals. In addition, being a dish that’s big on the gravy gives it the benefit of tasting even better the next day – or even after a few days!
Also, this is a dish that you can leave to braise on the stove for an hour with minimal supervision – just make sure to stir the contents roughly every 10 minutes so the bottom doesn’t burn!
Black Sauce Chicken with Potatoes
The main “meat” of this Black Sauce Chicken dish is chicken and potatoes. I used chicken thighs for minimal bones and juicy flesh. However, chicken breast, wings, and drummettes work very well too. Feel free to use any of your favourite chicken parts – in the end, they will taste delicious regardless!
For the potatoes, I used Holland potatoes as I have found they keep their shape well after cooking. They do not absorb too much of the gravy, instead, they complement it by adding a smooth, creamy texture to the dish. An alternative to Holland potatoes is any type of “waxy” potatoes that you can find.
As a preparation step, wash and peel the potatoes beforehand. Cut into large chunks (like 3-4 bites per chunk), and submerge them completely in room temperature water, until it’s time to cook. This slows down their oxidation rate once the skin comes off, so you will not end up with darkened potatoes.
In terms of seasonings, I’ve used thick soy sauce, light soy sauce, sesame oil, pepper and salt. Thick soy sauce and light soy sauce are the main contributors to the “darkness” or “blackness” of this Black Sauce Chicken dish. They also add to the depth and flavour of this dish.
I’ve also used red onions and ginger for a subtle earthy taste and some mild heat. Yellow onions can work for a sweeter tasting gravy as well.
Cooking the Black Sauce Chicken with Potatoes
Firstly, marinate the chicken with all the seasonings in a large basin. I’ve split the salt and pepper into two portions. This allows the chicken to be marinated more evenly. Additionally, I’ve also used a pair of food-grade gloves to prevent the sauces from temporarily staining my skin. However, this is absolutely not necessary.
Cover the basin with a large plate or cling wrap, and set aside for a minimum of 30 minutes. If marinating for a few hours to overnight, put it in the fridge.
After marination, preheat the cooking oil in a stainless steel pan, or wok, over medium heat. Fry the onions and ginger slices for roughly 2 minutes, or until they release their aroma and the onions appear slightly translucent.
Then, add all the marinated chicken into the pan. Be sure to include every last drop of the seasonings as well. Stir lightly to combine.
Remove the potatoes from the water, shaking them to remove any excess water. Arrange them on top of the chicken as much as possible. Without stirring, cover the pot. Decrease the heat to medium-low and braise for 1 hour.
The reason for this layering of chicken and potatoes is to cater for the difference in cooking time between them. With the chicken getting as much heat contact as possible, their delicious poultry flavour will be released, mixing well with the gravy. At the same time, the potatoes will be slow-cooked, and eventually, some layers of it will melt into the gravy, making it thick and creamy.
Make sure to lightly stir the chicken and potatoes every 10-15 minutes or so, covering the pan after each stir. This prevents the gravy and the bottom layer of the contents from burning.
At the 30 minute mark, the Black Sauce Chicken will have developed a good amount of gravy, although it is not enough for the final dish. Here is where we add the 250ml of water and gently mix until fully incorporated.
Ensure that all the ingredients – chicken, potatoes, onions, and ginger – are fully submerged in the gravy. This ensures an even cooking throughout the last 30 minutes, cooking and softening all parts of the ingredients. If you are a fan of garlic, one or two washed bulbs (with the skin) can be added in to enjoy with the chicken later. Continue to stir occasionally, or every 10 minutes or so, to prevent burning.
After 1 hour of braising, the fragrance is simply mouth-watering. Give the Black Sauce Chicken the last light stir, before testing a sampling of chicken and potatoes for doneness. With a fork, lightly poke the ingredients – if it goes in without much resistance, the Black Sauce Chicken with Potatoes is almost done.
Taste and adjust as necessary. If it’s too salty, more water can be added, if there seems to be a lack of taste, add a pinch of salt. Stir to combine if any adjustments were made.
Then, switch off the heat. As it is, the Black Sauce Chicken with Potatoes can be served immediately. However, if not in a rush, allow it to rest and cool for another 30 minutes. This allows time for the flavours to settle and be re-absorbed by the chicken and outer layers of the potatoes, making it even more delicious.
I would usually serve Black Sauce Chicken with an Omelette dish, such as this Cauliflower Omelette dish, some Sambal, and fluffy white rice. It is also a great alternative dish to serve alongside spicy curries for those with a low spicy tolerance level.
The fragrance of this dish is distinctly chicken with onions, potatoes and sauce – my kids can smell it even from upstairs.
The Black Sauce Chicken’s gravy is thick, creamy, and mildly salty, with a heavy flavour of the chicken. There is a subtle hint of heat from the ginger and an earthy flavour from the onions. The potatoes melt in the mouth, bringing a smooth texture to enjoy with rice.
The chicken is so tender and very flavourful. A super enjoyable dish for everyone!
Black Sauce Chicken with Potatoes is one that can stand the test of time. In fact, it will taste even better the next day.
Once completely cooled, store in air-tight containers, one container per batch, either in the fridge or freezer – depending on when you and your family would like to enjoy it next.
It can last up to a week in the fridge, and up to a month in the freezer. Be sure to re-heat until the gravy is vigourously boiling before consumption.
As I’ve mentioned, I really like this recipe as it’s not only super easy but it can be used in batch cooking to save time throughout the week!
Happy cooking 😀
Black Sauce Chicken with Potatoes
- 1.2 kg chicken thighs, washed & cleaned
- 750 g potatoes, peeled, cut to chunks, and soaked in water
- 250 ml water, drinking
- 200 g red onions, sliced thinly
- 3 tbsp cooking oil, unscented
- 3 tbsp thick soy sauce
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 1/4 tsp pepper, ground/ powdered
- 1/2 tbsp salt
- 80 g ginger, cut to strips
- Marinate the chicken with half 1/4 tbsp of salt, 3/4 of the pepper, all the sesame oil, light soy sauce, and thick soy sauce. Rub until all the seasonings are distributed. Add the rest of the salt and pepper and repeat. Cover the chicken and leave aside for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, add cooking oil to the pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, fry the onions and ginger for 2 minutes, or until softened and aromatic.
- After the herbs are aromatic, add chicken. Stir to combine.
- Remove potatoes from the water, shaking off the excess. Arrange them on top of the chicken.
- Cover the pot. Reduce heat to medium-low, and set the timer for 1 hour. Stir evenly every 10 minutes or so.
- After 30 minutes of braising, lightly stir the gravy. Add all the water and stir until combined. Cover the pan, stirring evenly every 10 minutes or so. Continue braising for the rest of the timer.
- After 1 hour of braising, poke a fork through chicken and potatoes for softness. Continue braising for another 10 minutes if softer potatoes are preferred. Adjust gravy to taste.
- Let it rest for 30 minutes before serving, or serve immediately.
- Although resting is not necessary, it gives time for that delicious gravy to be re-absorbed by the chicken and potatoes for a tastier dish.
- Batch cooking this dish works well too. This recipe can be scaled up and down based on preference.
- White Rice
- Omelette dishes
- Keep in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to a week. Re-heat over medium heat until vigorously boiling before consumption.
- This dish can also be frozen for up to a month.