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Portuguese Recipe: Frango No Churrasco

Cooking 15 minutes Preparation 20 minutes 4 easy
Recipe type: Chicken Cuisine: Portuguese

If you’re not coming to Portugal for a savory food and wine tour, then follow our recipe for flavorful Portuguese grilled chicken!

What do the Portuguese like to enjoy with their tasty chicken? Well, you’ll find that the accompaniments are just as traditional as the chicken, and normally are the only things you have with it. These include salad – specifically composed of just tomato and raw onion seasoned with olive oil, vinegar, salt and local dried oregano and french fries if you’re having Frango da Guia. But if it’s just Frango no Churrasco, instead of the fries it’s a bag of Titi brand homestyle potato chips- which are also the best potato chips ever, seriously. Other side dishes include fresh bread, or rice, and the drink of choice. No matter if it’s hot or cold outside, Portuguese beer is the beverage of choice, normally served as a liter of either Sagres or Superbock. Though if you’re not much of a beer fan, I know one Portuguese friend who prefers a nice espumante, or Portuguese sparkling wine, with their chicken, especially if it’s on the spicy side.

Assuming that your mouth is watering for some Portuguese frango, you can also make your own version at home if you got a good grill, using the base recipe I’ve provided below. Don’t miss out then on enjoying the best chicken ever this summer, I’m going to have mine now for dinner!

Recipe from As Minhas Receitas Blog 


Chicken (Frango)

  • 1 chicken weighing about 1,5 kg or 3.3lbs
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • salt to taste (like most Portuguese mamas, I like to use a nice, fine-grain sea salt from the Algarve, pick this up on your next trip or use another good sea salt)
  • 1 tablespoon of paprika or massa de pimentão– “paprika paste” (you can find this in Portuguese shops)
  • 1 tablespoon of piri-piri pepper *if you don’t like too much spice, use less of this or don’t add it* (you can find this in a Portuguese shop or substitute with ground red pepper flakes or cayenne)
  • 1/2 a lemon

Molho (Sauce)

  • 50ml or about a 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of piri-piri sauce *Again, use sparingly if you don’t like too much spice* (You can find this at a Portuguese store or substitute with Tabasco or your hot sauce of choice)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf


  1. With a knife or some kitchen scissors, butterfly the chicken in half through the breast and press it down flat with your palms.
  2. Make a paste with then crushed garlic, olive oil, salt, paprika, piri-piri and lemon juice then rub it all over the chicken thoroughly.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce mixing the crushed garlic with olive oil, lemon juice, piri-piri sauce and the bay leaf broken into small pieces.  Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
  4. *For an outdoor grill, put the butterflied chicken out flat, starting breast-side down, then turn frequently as it cooks and brush frequently with the sauce.
  5. *For an oven, place the chicken on a grill rack in the oven preheated to 200ºC or 392/400ºF and put a pan below with a little water to catch the fat drippings.  Broil until golden and the juices run clear,  brushing the chicken with the sauce and turning it over frequently for an even-roasting.
  6. Serve with the typical chicken accompaniments: French fries or potato chips, salad (tomato/onion with olive oil, vinegar, salt and oregano) and ice-cold beer!

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