Don’t be ‘Chicken!’

Karina’s Delicious and Spicy Baked Portuguese Chicken!


Don’t be ‘chicken.’ You know you want to try this recipe! This one is a flavour explosion…bring it on!


For the marinade:

– 1 x 1.8 kg whole chicken (dead, of course)

– 6 garlic cloves, grated

– Juice of 1 lemon or 1 orange, whichever you have around. (lemon is better)

– 1/2 tablespoon of salt

– 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

– 1. 5 tablespoons of paprika

– 2 tablespoons fresh oregano

– 2 tablespoons of olive oil

Just combine all the above ingredients together in a bowl, then your marinade is complete.

For the basting sauce:

– 1/2 teaspoon of fiery chilly paste (try to get a hot one with seeds in it)

– 30 grams of olive oil spread (reduced saturated fat)

– 5 garlic cloves, grated

– 1 tablespoon of olive oil

– A light sprinkle of salt

– Juice of 1 lemon or 1 orange, whichever you have around. (lemon is better)

– 2 Bay leaves, lightly scrunched by hand

– 4 tablespoons of whisky

Just combine all the above ingredients in a bowl, then your basting sauce is complete.


Rinse your chicken, then pat it dry with a paper towel. Butterfly your chicken by cutting carefully down the backbone on one side with a sharp knife, then press the chicken down firmly to ensure it is flat. Tuck the wings inside the chicken, to prevent charring whilst baking. Carefully disjoint the chicken by running your fingers down the bone line of the legs, then grabbing two bones that run into each other, then snapping them (just like a dislocation: poor chicken). Do this for the two leg bones. Once the dislocation process is complete, then slash the chicken’s meatiest parts deeply, so that the chicken cooks evenly whilst in the oven. Once this is completed, pour all the beautiful marinade directly onto the chicken, then massage all this flavour into the chicken, onto the skin, under the skin, all around the skin, then into the cuts of the meatiest parts of the chicken. Place marinated chicken into a bowl, then cover with cling film. Leave in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours (if you like your chicken spicy, then leave it in for 2 hours).

Once the chicken has marinated for your preferred timeframe, leave the chicken in the refrigerator until your oven has been preheated. Preheat your oven (fan forced) for 15 minutes, turning your oven to 200°C. Once preheated, lightly oil (with olive oil) your baking dish, which should be large enough for your chicken. Place your beautiful marinated bird into your pre-oiled baking dish, then place it in the oven. Cook your chicken, skin side up, for 30 minutes, without turning. Baste your chicken with half of the basting sauce, then place your chicken back into the oven, skin side down. Cook for another 30 minutes, then baste your chicken with the remainder of the basting sauce.  Place your chicken skin side up, then cook for a further 15-30 minutes, or until the chicken juices run clear and your bird is fully cooked. Once fully cooked, rest your bird outside the oven for about 10 minutes. Turn your oven to ‘off.’

You can make a jus to go with this bird. All you need to do, is pour all the juices which run off from your baked chicken, into a small pot, then bring to the boil. You can slightly thicken this jus if you like a thicker sauce, by mixing some corn flour in with this to make a smooth sauce. Alternatively, you can just leave the jus the way it naturally came out of the chicken, bring to the boil, then pour over your chicken. I prefer the more natural jus. Just delicious!

Compiling the Beauty:

Arrange on a plate with your favourite Low GI vegetables. I love baked sweet potato chips and greens.

Serves 6


Karina x


6 thoughts on “Don’t be ‘Chicken!’

    • FOOD IS LIFE! says:

      Hi crashingstone,

      You sure can! I have made an alcoholic version of this, along with a non-alcoholic version. By eliminating the whisky, you still have enough moisture that runs out of the chicken and lemons, to keep it nice and succulent.




  1. Claire says:

    I have some chicken in my freezer that I’ve left on hold because I just can’t find anything to do with it. These ingredients aren’t too outrageous and the taste I’m imagining seems so right! I must save this for the future.


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