Monday, August 08, 2022

Frango no Churrasco - Barbecued Chicken


There are some meals that you have a specific memory associated with. For me, grilled chicken is one of those. But not just grilled chicken, I'm talking about the Frango no Churrasco.  A barbecue chicken that is beyond delicious, grilled to perfection, with the perfect amount of seasonings and just a little kick from piri piri (chilies).

In Portugal, we have a lot of little corner shops, called Churrasqueiras, that sell these divine barbecue chickens.  I used to go with my dad and brothers, on the weekends, down to our local churrasqueira in Sao Joao do Estoril, and we would get a chicken and some kettle cooked chips to go with, or a large order of fries and a salad.

To this day, Frango no Churrasco is one of my favorite of favorite ways to barbecue chicken.

It does take a bit of time, it needs to grill over about an hour to an hour and a half, and needs to basted, every 15 minutes or so.  Basically, I am out there turning the chicken every 15 minutes, and basting it.  It's time consuming, but well worth the effort.


Frango no Churrasco

Ingredients for the chicken and marinade:
1 whole chicken, flattened and cleaned
2 garlic cloves, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Massa de pimentao (red pepper paste, but you can omit if you don't have)
1 whole dried chili pepper, crushed (or 1teaspoon of cayenne pepper)
Salt to taste

For the basting sauce:
50 ml vegetable oil
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon red pepper paste
2 garlic cloves, diced
25 ml beer (you can also use wine)
black pepper to taste
Juice of half a lemon
1 bay leaf
salt to taste

Make the basting sauce, by mixing all the ingredients together, and then set aside.


Clean the chicken, open it up and butterfly it.  It needs to be flat.  Mix the ingredients for the marinade and rub all over the chicken.  Set chicken in fridge to marinade, for at least an hour.  The longer it sits, the better it will be.

Cook over hot coals, turning every 15 minutes, and basting each time you turn.  When the chicken is evenly cooked, and nice and charred, remove and serve immediately.  Cut into smaller portions and serve with homemade fries and a salad.

If cooking on a gas grill, like I did.  Turn on the grill and set each burner to maximum. Keep lid closed and let it preheat for about 20 minutes on high heat, it should reach 400 degrees.  Then turn all the burners down to a low heat.
You can place the chicken directly on the grates, but I prefer to put it in a grilling basket with a handle.  

 Set it on the grill, close it, and then every 15 minutes, flip the basket and baste the chicken. 


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