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Portuguese | Portuguese Roast Chicken with Potatoes (Frango Assado com Batatas)

Posted on January 21, 2013

I love this dish. I got this recipe from Leite's The New Portuguese Table cookbook. The flavors scream Portuguese food - paprika, garlic, and bay leaves. I wrote up the recipe as printed, but I had to cook my potatoes separately since they wouldn't fit into my roasting pan and rack with the chicken. I have sort of a small pan and the rack is pretty close to the bottom, so the potatoes just didn't fit under the chicken. If you decide to cook your potatoes separately, put them on a baking sheet and in the oven during the last 30 minutes or so, otherwise they will cook for too long and burn. I usually put them in 30 minutes before the chicken is done and then when the chicken is resting, turn up the heat to 450°, give them a stir, and put them back in the oven to crisp up a bit more.

When making the Red Pepper Paste, it really matters which kind of paprika that you use. Please don't use regular paprika, it won't taste good. The recipe calls for Sweet Paprika and Sweet Smoked Paprika. I use "La Dalia" brand from Spain purchased at La Tienda. It's the best that I've found for this recipe and turns out awesome. I have swapped out the Sweet Smoked Paprika for Bittersweet Paprika and it turns out awesome as well. I use a mini-chop to make the paste, it's fast and just the right size. Also I use all the paste in one recipe, which is probably more than the recipe says to use, but I love it. I really pack it in under the skin and all over the chicken. I use 1/4 cup of the paste on the potatoes.

Piri-Piri sauce is a Portuguese hot sauce made from African Birdseye Chili Peppers. These peppers originated in Mozambique and were made popular in Portugal. I buy my Piri-Piri sauce either from The Spanish Table or La Salette.

We love to make paninis the next day with the leftover chicken. We use green onion slab bread, sliced chicken, Manchego cheese, roasted piquillo peppers, and dressed arugula. Yum!

Yield: serves 4

Portuguese Roast Chicken with Potatoes



one 3 1/2 to 4 pound chicken

3/4 cup Amped-Up Red Pepper Paste

kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 tablespoon olive oil



2 tablespoons sweet paprika

2 tablespoons sweet smoked paprika

1/4 cup dry red wine

8 to 10 garlic cloves, to taste

2 Turkish bay leaves, well crumbled

1 tablespoon double-concentrate tomato paste

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

7 sprigs fresh cilantro

5 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

a few dashes of piri-piri sauce or store-bought hot sauce, or to taste

1/4 cup olive oil



Position a rack in the center of the oven a crank up the heat to 425°F.

Remove the excess fat from inside the chicken and reserve the giblets for another use. Pat the bird dry, then carefully wiggle your fingers under the skin to release it from the meat - the breast, legs, and back - being mindful not to rip it. Spoon 5 tablespoons of the red pepper paste into a cup and, using your fingers, smear 4 tablespoons under the skin of the chicken and inside the cavity. Smear the remaining tablespoon over the entire bird. Tie the legs together with twine and tuck the wing tips under. Place the chicken breast side down on a V-rack in a foil-lined roasting pan (or cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight to roast tomorrow.) Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Toss the potatoes with 1/4 cup of the red pepper paste and the oil and scatter them in the pan under the chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Roast the bird for 35 minutes, then, using tongs, turn breast side up. Toss the potatoes well to coat with the drippings. Brush the breast lightly with a bit more of the paste. Lower the heat to 350°F and continue cooking until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest past of the thigh reads 165°F. 50 minutes to 1 hour (longer if the chicken came from the refrigerator).

Remove the bird, tent with foil, and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. If the potatoes aren't tender, toss again, bump up the oven to 450°F, and finish roasting them while the bird rests.

To serve, place the chicken on a platter and scoop the potatoes into a bowl.


Dump both types of paprika, the wine, garlic, bay leaves, tomato paste, lemon juice, cilantro, parsley, salt, pepper, and piri-piri sauce into a food process or mini chop and pulse until the garlic and herbs are minced. Scrape down any chunky bits from the sides of the bowl.

While the motor is running, pour in the olive oil and continue whirring until the paste is slick and homogenous, 1 to 2 minutes. Use the mixture immediately, or spoon it into a small glass jar with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate. The paste will keep up to a month in the refrigerator.


(Ref. "Quick Weekday Roast Chicken with Potatoes" recipe, The New Portuguese Table, pages 110 and 232.)