Hi everyone, today Liz and I thought we’d take you back to our roots. Not to Portugal though…. nope, we’re staying in the Greater Toronto Area, where we live. I want to share with you a typical way that the Portuguese like to flavour and prepare chicken. It’s the way Liz and I grew up having chicken, living in Toronto. It’s the way we still like having our chicken, whenever we get to a Churrasqueira.
What’s a Churrasqueira?
A churrasqueira [sounds like shoe-rra-shkaa-ra] is a Portuguese eat-in or take-out-style restaurant that barbeques meat on a grill or in a rotisserie oven. There are lots of these churrasqueiras in and around the Toronto area, and let me tell you, we’ve visited our fair share of them!
Churrasqueiras usually offer limited sit-down and delivery service, but I’d say they’re most well known as hot-food table or take-out places. Although most of them have a wide selection of delicious foods we usually relate these restaurants to their BBQ peri-peri chicken…with Parisian potatoes and rice! If you ask any non-Portuguese speaking person in the Toronto area about Portuguese churrasqueiras, they’ll likely say “Oh yeah… the Portuguese chicken place–love it!”.
Roasting Portuguese-style chicken at home
Although we love to visit Churrasqueiras, I also love cooking. So I figured, why not try to make this deliciousness at home. It worked out so well. This version is super tasty, juicy and it’s similar to the Portuguese restaurant-style BBQ chicken we know and love. I went light on the spicy “heat” because our little guy doesn’t like a lot of spice. But, feel free to bump up the ‘heat’ a notch!
If you’ve never had the good fortune to eat chicken this way…we suggest you give our recipe a try. We also recommend you enjoy it with our oven roasted potatoes. If you’re feeling a little lazy, or you happen to be near one…go visit a churrasqueira and see what all the hype is about. Yummm…always eat well, friends!
Portuguese-Style Roast Chicken
- 2 whole chickens about 3.5 (1.6kg) each
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 1 1/2 Tbsp paprika
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup Frank's RedHot
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature (1/2 stick)
- 3 tsp salt
- Kitchen string
- Preheat the oven to 425 °F.
- Spray a large roasting pan and rack with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a medium size bowl, whisk together the minced garlic, paprika, olive oil, Frank's RedHot and lemon juice, and set aside.
- Take the chickens out of the fridge and place them on a cutting board.
- Pat the chickens down with paper towels and discard the paper towels to avoid cross contamination.
- Sprinkle about 3/4 tsp salt inside each chicken.
- Pour about 1/4 cup of the sauce inside each chicken.
- With a clean hand, swirl the salt and sauce inside the chickens until the fully coated.
- Wash your hands!
- Sprinkle the remaining salt evenly on the outside of the chickens, about 3/4 tsp per chicken.
- Rub the salt all around the chickens, make sure to also get around the legs and wings.
- Using clean hands, coat the outside of both chickens with the butter, making sure the get all parts and crevices.
- Place the chickens on the roasting pan rack, inside the roasting pan.
- Tie the legs together with kitchen string and fold the wings under the chickens.
- Using a brush or clean hands, coat both chickens with the remaining sauce. Pour a little at-a-time and brush/baste until the chickens are fully coated in the sauce.
- Note: a bit of sauce will drop off the chicken. This is expected and okay. Pour slowly and try to keep as much of the sauce on the chickens when brushing it on.
- Place the roasting pan in the oven on the second level.
- Roast for about one hour.
- Open the oven door to carefully and loosely cover the chicken with tin foil.
- Continue to roast for another 20 minutes. The internal temperature of the chicken should be around 160 °F.
- Remove the roasting pan from the oven and tent with tin foil for about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Carve and serve hot with your favourite sides.
- Feel free to add more kick with hot pepper flakes or hot sauce if you like it spicy. Our family likes it pretty mild. Frank's RedHot isn't very spicy.
- You will need a large roasting pan with removable rack.
- Wash your hands often when dealing with raw chicken and keep your surfaces clean at all times.
Thank you so much for this recipe! I dream of Portuguese BBQ, but am 2 hours away from a restaurant. I plan to make this for our anniversary on Saturday! So good!
Nelson Cardoso says
We’re so happy you’re giving this a shot. Let us know how it goes. All the best!
Since this is a Portuguese recipe, piri piri would be more authentic, but it’s also hotter than Frank’s.
Nelson Cardoso says
Piri piri is awesome and authentic… I completely agree with you. But we like to try our own twists and spins on recipes and we were pretty happy with this version, so we decided to share it. Either way, you should come out with a tasty dinner. Take care and thanks for dropping by.
Thanks for sharing and as an educator I say sharing is caring!
I wonder if the chicken can be split open from the torso down
for faster cooking time?
I need you to share more Portuguese recipes and thanks so much.
Nelson Cardoso says
It’s our pleasure to share our recipes. Our Portuguese recipes get a lot of views. You’re probably right about splitting the chicken… wouldn’t hurt to try. I sometimes cut it up in quarters to speed things up even more. Just be careful not to over cook, or you run the risk of the chicken drying out. Take care and thanks for commenting.
This sounds so great I’d like to give this a try this weekend although I can’t have too much “hot” due to health issues but I miss churrasqueira .
Can I do it without the hot sauce? What could I use in its place
Nelson Cardoso says
You can definitely do this without the hot sauce… no need to replace it with anything and it’ll still taste great. Let us know how it turns out. You just made us hungry