One of the most classic Portuguese dishes is Frango Assado [Roasted Chicken].
Served with a side of rice, or crispy potato chips, this signature meal is found on every menu in Portugal. What makes it so famous is the way it is prepared, with lemon, olive oil, garlic, and the secret ingredient, Piri-Piri.
Piri-Piri peppers made their way to Portugal by ships from Mozambique and Angola, former colonies of Portugal. These hot peppers soon become a staple in many Portuguese dishes such as this one.
The peppers add a fiery note to this chicken that you’ll be wondering why you haven’t tried them out before.
They are also known as birds eye chili and are easily found in Portuguese specialty stores, but if you can't find them, substitute them for regular chilies, or cayenne pepper.
1 whole chicken, spatchocked
Piri- Piri Sauce
10 Piri-Piri Peppers (red eye or any other red chili peppers)
100 ml olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. paprika
Salt & Pepper
Large bunch of parsley, plus more for serving
Crispy Potato Chips
1½ pounds russet
Vegetable oil, for frying
Salt and pepper
Piri- Piri Sauce & Chicken
Mix the chilies, olive oil, garlic, paprika, parsley, and salt and pepper, until it is all combined. Using a blender, blend half the mixture for the marinade, and preserve the half unblended mixture for basting.
Place the chicken breast side down. Using kitchen scissors, cut the right side of the backbone, and repeat along the left side. ( you may save the backbone for future chicken stock or discard). Open the chicken, and turn over. Flatten the breastbone with the heel of your hand so that the meat is all one thickness.
Place the chicken in a plastic bag or in a large tray, pour half of the sauce over the chicken and allow it to marinade for an hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Place the chicken on a baking tray. Tuck the wings under the body of the chicken.
Roast the chicken for a 1-1 ½ hour. For the last few minutes, turn on the broiler to crisp the skin of the chicken. Keep a close eye so the skin does not burn.
Remove from the oven, baste with the remaining sauce.
Garnish with leftover parsley, serve alongside, crispy fries, salad or rice.
Crispy Potato Chips
Using a mandoline or sharp knife, carefully slice potatoes about ⅛” thick. Place them in a large bowl of ice water. Allow the potatoes to sit for 30 minutes. Once the 30 minutes are done, drain, and pat dry.
Heat up a heavy pot with a thermometer; pour in oil. Heat over medium-high until thermometer reaches 300°F.
Working in batches, fry until golden brown and crisp, turning occasionally for an even cook, about 5-7 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel–lined wire rack. Season with salt and pepper.