Frango na pucara is a classic of the Portuguese kitchen. I chose this recipe for my previous post on how to throw a dinner party. The recipe comes from the town of Alcobaça just north of Lisbon, in central Portugal. A púcara is a clay pot with a lid, taller than it is wide. You do not need one to make this recipe. Any lidded clay or cast-iron pot with a lid will do. I actually do not have one so I make it in a cast iron casserole.
What can be easier than throwing all ingredients into the pot to marinate and then putting the pot into the oven for an hour.
The flavour of this chicken will really knock your guest's socks off. This recipe is simply fool proof, making you the star. Take the pot to the table and serve. It is delicious with a side of french fries and white rice.
Frango Na Púcara ❦ Portuguese One-Pot Baked Chicken
1 Free-range chicken (1,3- 1,5 kilos is ideal ) cut into 8 pieces or any combination of legs, breasts, or thighs. Preferably bone-in and skin-on.
60 ml. Extra virgin olive oil 150 g. Bacon, cubed 150 g. Baby plum tomatoes (fresh or tinned)
10 Spring onions or small shallots, if using shallots, peel and leave them whole 100 g. Butter, melted 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard 6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped 100 ml. Brandy 100 ml. Tawny Port wine 150 ml. Dry White wine
4 Bay leaves
Fresh Thyme, optional, not traditional, but I like it Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
A few splashes of tabasco, optional Fresh flat-leaf parsley, to finish
Season chicken liberally with salt, pepper, and paprika.
Place chicken, bay leaves, onions, bacon, garlic, and tomatoes into the pot.
In a small bowl combine the remaining ingredients and pour them all over the chicken. Cover the pot and place the chicken in the fridge to marinate for a minimum of 3 hours and up to overnight.
When ready to cook
Take the chicken out of the fridge and let the pot sit on the counter for 30 minutes. That will get the chicken to room temperature before baking.
Pre-heat oven to 180°c., Place the covered pot into the oven and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, uncover the pot and bake for 25-30 minutes more to get the chicken nicely browned and crisp. Remove from oven. Check for doneness. The thermometer should register 77°c. from the thickest part of the thigh.
Chop the parsley and sprinkle over just before serving.
What a traditional Portuguese púcara looks like
All loved up and drunk