I had forgotten about Frango com Limão until, I recently stumbled on an award winning Vinho Verde. Maybe because the days are starting to cool and the thought of comfort food is closing in again, or maybe it’s because I’m trying to hold on to my Verdes as long as possible.
Either way the wines description of “citrus and tropical flavours” sparked an immediate thought of Frango com Limão and what the two would taste like together. The result was wonderful, and from Moses’ reaction, Lemon chicken is a favorite all over again.
This is a very flavorful recipe that makes you feel like your cheating, but the results are so good… you get over it quickly with a great glass of Vinho Verde. Its fast, easy, looks impressive and tastes great every time.
Portuguese Lemon Chicken
serves 3 – 4
2.5kg/5 ½ lb Chicken –free range chicken & grain fed (if possible)
One medium sized Lemon (Lemon size will depend on cavity of chicken)
6 Chicken cubes – Knorr preferably
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter softened
Course sea salt
1 Tbsp. Mild olive oil
Preheat oven to 180C/300F
Wash and drain chicken
Place olive oil in bottom or a roasting dish
Massage lemon on hard counter, roll back and forth with palm until inside feels soft. Tip: When buying lemon for this recipe try choosing one with a softer thinner skin.
Combine butter, chicken cubes, and pinch of white pepper together in a small dish. You can mush this together with your fingers. When roughly combined rub ¼ of mixture around entire surface of lemon. Then pierce lemon in a few places with fork or toothpick, place lemon inside chicken cavity immediately so not to loose juice and close, if chicken has not been prepared to close simply join skin and hold with a wooden toothpick to close.
Make small cuts on skin, at breast and thighs, just enough to fit your fingers then gently lift skin and slip butter seasoning under breast, and inside skin of thighs. Rub remaining butter seasoning all over chicken, not forgetting wings and back.
Sprinkle a small pinch of course sea salt over back and breast of chicken. Chicken cubes can be salty so take care when using extra salt to season.
Place chicken with breast side down and bake for 45min. Then turn over with breast up and bake another 25min., cooking time will depend on exact size of chicken and oven. Chicken is done when juices run clear, a good place to check is the thigh and breast, if juices run clear bird is should be done.
Before serving carefully remove lemon from cavity. It will be very hot and can squirt easily. I usually remove lemon with a fork and hold lemon on top of the chicken briefly. With a sharp knife I pierce the hot lemon a couple of times, then with another fork gently squeeze some juice out of the hot lemon and let it spread over the chicken, then discard lemon. Give the chicken another good basting using the juices from the bottom of the pan and serve.