This Portuguese Style Chicken Marinade is one of my favourite chicken marinade recipes that can be done in the oven, or on the gas or charcoal grill. I have used all cooking methods depending on the time of the year, but I think the most authentic flavour is offset grilling with charcoal – but will work well with whatever method you choose. We like to BBQ all year round but tend to use the charcoal in the summer and fall – before the snow flies.
The Portuguese chicken marinade is very simple and so flavourful and has a wonderful blend of lemon juice, paprika, oregano and garlic. It is pretty easy to prep this recipe as you simply combine all the marinade ingredients together, add the chicken, and then place them in a plastic bag or covered glass casserole dish. Ideally, the marinade should left be on the chicken for at least 2 hours – but even better if left overnight if you have the time.
When cooking on a charcoal grill the chicken pieces can flame up really easily so you have to keep an eye on them to make sure they are not directly over the coals. If you keep turning them regularly they will be tender, cook evenly, and have a very nice crispy finish. For this recipe, I use chicken parts but have also done using a whole chicken and cooked on a rotisserie. You would just need to base your cooking time on individual pieces.
This Portuguese style chicken recipe goes great with a fresh crispy salad and spicy rice.
Portuguese Style Chicken Marinade
- 1 6 chicken legs and 6 thighs
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp oregano
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper or to taste
Making the marinade
- Combine lemon juice, olive oil, paprika, oregano, garlic, and salt and pepper into a measuring cup and stir until well mixed. Place ingredients into a plastic bag and add the chicken pieces. Make sure the chicken pieces are well coated on all sides with the marinade. Close the bag tightly and put this into the fridge and then let sit in the marinade for a minimum of 2 hours or up to overnight.
Grilling the chicken
- If using charcoal you will need to let the coals get hot and set up for offset cooking.
- Once the coals are ready place the chicken pieces evenly spaced on the grill with the bone side down, Try to make sure they are not directly over the coals as the skin will cook really quickly and possibly flame up. The idea is to cook them slowly and turn frequently so they are thoroughly cooked and will stay tender with a nice evenly cooked crispy finish.
- The chicken pieces will take about 30 to 40 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Once done remove the pieces from the grill and let the chicken sit for about 10 minutes to let the juices settle.