Portuguese chicken has a great flavour that everyone loves. You can easily make it at home for a fraction of the cost of takeaway with a few pantry staples and a whole chicken. We also show you how to butterfly a chicken, but you can always ask the butcher to do this for you.
PORTUGUESE BUTTERFLIED CHICKEN
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 50 mins (+ marinating time 4+ hours)
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed or grated
- 1 tbsp of sweet paprika
- 1 tbsp of oregano leaves (fresh or dried)
- ¼ tsp of dried chilli flakes
- zest of 1 lemon, then cut into wedges for serving
- ¼ tsp of black pepper
- ¼ cup of olive oil
- 1.4kg whole chicken (size 14)
- salad or veggies
- Make the marinade by combining garlic, paprika, oregano, chilli flakes, lemon zest, black pepper and olive oil. Place marinade in a dish large enough to take the butterflied chicken.
- To butterfly the chicken, rinse the chicken and dry with paper towel.
- Using a sharp knife, remove the wishbone (from the head end).
- Using a large knife or kitchen scissors, cut either side of the spine, starting at the neck end. Cut to half way down the spine on both sides.
- Remove the rest of the spine from the tail end, cutting on either side and remove entirely.
- With the heal of the knife, split the breast plate on the inside of the chicken to make it easy to flatten out the chicken.
- Rub the marinade and rub it under the skin of the breast and all over the legs and bone side of the chicken.
- Score the legs and rub some marinade into the flesh of the legs.
- Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
- When ready to barbecue, heat the BBQ to medium high, and preheat the oven to 180ºC / 350ºF, Gas mark 4–5.
- Remove the chicken from the refrigerator, and sprinkle with salt on both sides.
- Cook the chicken on the flat plate of the BBQ for 10 minutes, flesh side down. Flip and continue cooking for another 10 minutes.
- Place the chicken in an ovenproof dish or tray and bake for an additional 30 minutes. Skewer the thickest flesh to check the juice runs clear. If not, continue to cook for a few more minutes.
- Cover with foil and rest for 10 minutes. Cut into 6–8 pieces for serving.
- Serve with salad or veggies and lemon wedges.
If cooking for more than 5 people, cook 2 chickens rather than increasing the size of the chicken.