Portuguese Chicken

           Montreal is lucky to have an amazing Portuguese neighborhood that filled with great little restaurants. There are many places where you can buy fantastic chicken sandwiches served in soft & chewy buns. Most places make both rotisserie and grilled varieties of the distinctive, chilly flavoured Portuguese chicken. The roasted chicken can be a bit tricky to perfect at home, but the grilled version is really easy to make. 

        I don't often buy boneless skinless chicken breasts, because the usually don't deliver much flavour-wise The marinade in this recipe packs a big punch, so they actually work great in this recipe. To get a good, flavourful char on the breast, you should make sure your grill is smoking hot. To ensure that the breasts don't dry out before the middle is fully cooked, I flatted out the breasts by butterflying them and then pounding them with a meat hammer. This way I can give each side a quick char and it's ready in minutes. 

      Grilled portuguese chicken is great on it's own, with a little potato salad, or in a sandwich with a Portuguese bun.   

Prep time: 10 minutes + 2 hours rest. Cooking time: 10 minutes. Serves 6 


6 chicken breasts
juice of 2 lemons
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons red chilli sauce (Piri Piri, Tabasco or Sriracha)
tablespoon dried thyme and/or oregano  

1. Butterfly each breast by slicing it most of the way down the middle without cutting it in half. Lay out the butterflied breasts on a layer of plastic wrap and then cover with a second layer of plastic wrap.  Hammer the breasts until they are flat and even.

2. Place the chicken into a large, sealable plastic bag. Stir together all the ingredients in the marinade together in a mixing bowl and then pour the marinade into the bag with the chicken. Shake well and then store in the fridge for 2 hours, or overnight.

3. Heat the grill of hot as you can get it. Place the marinated chicken on the grill and cook each side until well charred, about 3-6 minutes per side depending of the strength or your grill. Slice one breast down the middle to ensure the meat is fully cooked. If it's still a bit pink, cook it for another 5 minutes on each side.


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