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.