the appetizer:

The New Portuguese Table by David Leite, includes recipes like Piri-Piri Sauce, Molho de Piri-Piri; Grilled Chicken Slathered in Hot Sauce, Frango com Piri-Piri; Azorean Kale, Sausage, and Bean Soup, Sopa de Couve; and Olive Oil-Poached Fresh Cod with Roasted Tomato Sauce, Confitado de Bacalhau Fresco com Tomatada Assada.

Cookbook Profile

Grilled Chicken Slathered in Hot Sauce
Frango com Piri-Piri

Grilled Chicken Slathered in Hot Sauce

Serves 4


Eaten all over Portugal, the crispy grilled chicken known as frango no churrasco is unbeatable. In the Algarve, younger, utterly tender chickens called frango de Guia, named for the town that made them famous, are the bird of choice. And there's something about the heat, the beaches, the crowds, and the wafting smoke from the grills in Guia that has to be experienced. No matter what type of grilled chicken you order, though, a waiter will pose the question, "Com ou sem?" With or without?—piri-piri sauce, that is. Do yourself a favor and go with "com."

Atenção (Note)
We Portuguese can be somewhat cavalier when it comes to fire. This recipe requires that the food be basted with piri-piri sauce while grilling. Flare-ups are inevitable. To avoid charring your food beyond recognition, turn it often, and move it to a cooler corner of the grill or adjust the heat as needed. I also open and close the grill's cover to control the cooking.

1. Mix together the piri-piri sauce, paprika, garlic, and kosher salt in a large sealable freezer bag. Set aside.

2. Place the chicken breast side down on a cutting board. Using poultry shears, cut down along one side of the backbone, and then the other; discard the bone. Turn the chicken breast side up, open it out, and press down firmly with your palms to flatten it. Place it in the freezer bag, seal, and flip several times to coat. Lay the bag in a shallow dish and marinate in the fridge for at least several hours, or, preferably, overnight, turning a few more times.

3. Heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium. Remove the chicken from the bag, reserving the marinade, and let it sit out for 30 minutes.

4. Baste the bird all over with the marinade, season with sea salt, and place it breast side down on the grill. Grill until the skin is a deep brown and show grill marks, 12 to 15 minutes. Flip, baste, and grill for about 15 minutes more. The chicken is cooked when the juices run clear if the thigh is pierced or when an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 degrees F. Just before serving, brush the chicken with fresh piri-piri sauce for an extra kick of heat.


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This page created May 2010