Portuguese-style Grilled Chicken

Portuguese-style Grilled Chicken

We were first introduced to Portuguese style chicken through the South African chain, Nando’s, way back in 1990’s when they opened up the first restaurant in Brisbane.  It was in the midst of winter and we were sitting al fresco.  I recall sweat pouring down my son’s face as he thoroughly enjoyed that extra extra hot peri peri sauce.  We fell in love with the flame grilled, peri peri taste at that time and till this day, we still frequently visit Nando’s for that unforgettable taste.

For this recipe, I used the grill pan, cook-top and oven instead of the barbecue to grill the chicken so missed out on the flame grilled flavour. But nonetheless the aroma of the chicken grilled this way is still intoxicating and the taste … not quite Nando’s … but the chicken meat is succulent, spicy and delicious in a different way.  I will definitely be making this again.


  • 4 chicken drumsticks (skin on)
  • Marinade:
    • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
    • 1 teaspoon thyme
    • 1 teaspoon oregano
    • 1 teaspoon ground coriander powder
    • 2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
    • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 2 tablespoons Canola oil


1. Make a couple of slits in the thick part of the drumsticks – this will allow the marinade to seep through.

2. Marinade chicken (massaging well) and leave it in the fridge overnight.

2. Preheat the grill pan over the stove until it is very hot.

3. Place chicken (skin-down) on the grill pan. Reduce the temperature to a medium setting.

4. Brown the chicken for 5 mins on each side.

5. Place grill pan in a pre-heated 180C oven to finish the cooking.  Cook for another 5-6 minutes on each side or until chicken is cooked through.

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