The aromas of this dish will likely hit you before the taste, as is common with Portuguese cuisine, which traditionally features heavy helpings of paprika, garlic, onion, parsley, cumin and a host of wonderfully potent flavors. Barbecue chicken is a classic of the Portuguese culinary experience, with chili-packed piri-piri a favorite on most menus in Europe’s oldest country. Traditionally, Portuguese barbecue is done over a wood fire, which only enhances the aromas.

A cool complement to the heat of the chicken, Chef Jon’s potato salad with bacon also makes the most of the grill. This sweet blend of honey and Dijon is beautifully offset by a kick of champagne vinegar, parmesan and mayo and will beautifully balance your end-of-summer menu.

Get the Recipe: Crispy Portuguese Chicken with Grilled Potato Salad

Whether you choose to fire up your grill, your oven or stovetop skillet, this crispy Portuguese chicken recipe will add the perfect mix of spice, sweetness and herbs to your Sunday supper. Add the creamy tang of grilled potato salad with bacon (everything is better with bacon), and it’s a feast for all the senses.


  • 6 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed
  • 5 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lemons, cut into wedges for serving

Grilled Potato Salad

  • 1 1/2 pounds baby red potatoes, cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons basil, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Champagne vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 3 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled


  • In a large mixing bowl combine all the marinade ingredients. Remove 1/4 cup marinade, plastic wrap and place in fridge. Submerge 1 piece of chicken in bowl at a time and gently smear the marinade into both the skin and the flesh. Plastic wrap bowl and let marinade set for at least 1 hour (or overnight).
  • Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Leave primary burner on high and turn off other burner(s). Adjust primary burner (or, if using 3-burner grill, primary burner and second burner) as needed to maintain grill temperature around 350 degrees. This is called indirect cooking.
  • Clean and oil cooking grate with swath of paper towel dipped in oil. Place chicken, skin side down, on cooler side of grill (not over flame). Place grill lid down and cook for 20 minutes. Alternate chicken pieces keeping skin side down, so that pieces that are closest to edge are now closer to heat source and vice versa. Cover and continue to cook until chicken registers 185 degrees F to 190 degrees F (85 degrees c), approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Move all chicken, skin side down, to hotter side of grill and cook until skin is nicely charred (about 5 minutes). Flip chicken and cook until flesh side is lightly browned (1 to 2 minutes). Transfer to a clean platter, tent with aluminum foil, and let the chicken rest for 10 minutes.

For Oven:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place chicken, skin side down, on a cooling rack sprayed with cooking spray.  Cook until chicken registers 185 to 190 degrees F. (20-30 minutes)

For Grill Pan:

  • Heat a heavy-duty grill pan to high heat for about 2-3 minutes on top of stove. Lower the heat to medium-high and add the oil to the pan and make sure the entire pan is coated with oil. Add chicken and brown both sides. Transfer to a clean platter, tent with aluminum foil, and let the chicken rest for 10 minutes. 

Grilled Potato Salad

  • Preheat grill to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).  Place potatoes in a single layer in center of a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Bring up foil sides over potatoes; double fold top and side edges to seal, making 1 large packet. 
  • Grill potatoes, in foil packet, covered with grill lid, 15 minutes on each side. Remove packet from grill. Let sit for 5 minutes. Carefully open packet, using tongs, and let potatoes cool 5 minutes.
  • While potatoes are cooling, whisk together mayonnaise and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Add potatoes, tossing gently to coat. Stir in onion, parmesan cheese and bacon.