Thursday, August 23, 2012

Moa Samoa - Polynesian Brown Sugar Chicken

Here's another recipe from Me'a Kai's Samoan section. I've been wanting to do more with this book than just reading it and slobbering over the pictures so I've been marking (with the three pretty coloured ribbons attached to the book) recipes that I want to make.

I was easily seduced by the photo in the book of a succulent, glazed chicken leg, and thought, 'Yum! That's dinner.'

My plan of action was simple. See, my chicken was already defrosted and I had two hours before dinner time. I figured it would take me mere minutes to throw together the marinade, the chicken would soak in it while I got the coals going, then, like the domestic goddess I am, I'd throw the marinated pieces on the grill - baste and turn them with one hand while making a garden and potato salad with the other hand - and Voila! Bon appetit!

In an ideal world, that would have happened. 

In my world, I realised halfway through mixing the marinade that I needed limes and star anise, so I had to run down to the store. Returned with said ingredients, finished mixing, threw the chicken in, then decided, belatedly, to refer to the book for the minimum marinading time. 

3 hours.


And up to 2 days.


And forget about the coals. There's too much sugar in the marinade, so the chicken would burn before it cooked.

I sighed heavily, stomach rumbling. Guess it's the old alaisa (rice) and elegi (tinned fish) tonight. Again.

So I learned my lesson, a lesson that I learn every couple of weeks actually: Read the recipe.

Put all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl and mix. Divide the marinade in half.

Put half the marinade in a pot and reduce to a third. In other words, simmer until two thirds of it is gone. The remainder should be thicker and darker than the original.

Strain the reduced marinade and set aside until needed. This may be three hours later, or two days later, depending on how long you leave the chicken. The other half of the marinade is what you leave the chicken in.

Bake the chicken until done, basting frequently. Brush with the reserved glaze.


  1. Yummmmay...ia fia se I le nice o le vae moa!

  2. I probably should have taken a photo of my alaisa/elegi as well because that was quite nice too.

  3. Can you please make povi masima? I want to learn how to make it and I hope you can post a recipe soon.

    1. Hi Melissa, the povi masima I ate growing up came straight out of a barrel or bucket. We just heated it through, maybe with some cabbage or onion, but it was already brined. We never brined it ourselves. If you have a particular recipe in mind, please let me know.

    2. I don't have a recipe in mind, as a matter of fact I have no idea how to start Povi Masima. What I am hoping for is a recipe which teaches Povi masima from scratch. I love it with cabbage too. I want to buy the meat myself and brine it myself. Would you be able to help me?

    3. I really wish I could help you but I can't buy the large cuts of fatty brisket needed for povi masima. Here is a recipe for corned beef from Michael Ruhlman.