Frango A Passarinho Recipe

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serves: 4

Taken from This is Brazil: Home-style recipes and street food by Fernanda de Paula and Shelley Hepworth (£16.99; Hardie Grant Books)


  • 1 x 1.8kg (4lb) free-range corn-fed chicken
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 handful flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chopped oregano
  • 125ml (4 fl oz/ 1/2 cup) lemon juice
  • 125ml (4 fl oz/ 1/2 cup) white wine
  • 225g (8oz/1 1/2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Oil for deep frying


  • Place the chicken on a board, breast side up. Insert a lage sharp knife into the chicken cavity and cut down each side of the backbone. Discard the backbone. Turn the chicken over, then cut through the upper thigh joint between the legs and body to remove the leg and thigh pieces. Cut in half to separate the thighs from the drumsticks. Turn the chicken over and cut it in half down the breastbone, then cut the breat pieces, with wing attached, into three even-sized pieces. Trim any pieces of fat and thin bones as necessary

  • Combine the garlic, onion, parsley, oregano, lemon juice and wine in a large bowl. Add the chicken pieces and toss to coat. Tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap, then refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Drain the chicken well and pat dry with paper towel.

  • Combine the flour and baking powder in a large bowl. Add the chicken pieces, in batches, and toss to coat well, shaking off the excess flour.

  • Heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan to 175°c (345°f), or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil turns golden brown in 15 seconds. Cook the chicken in batches, for 7-8 minutes per batch, or until deep golden and crisp and cooked in the middle. Drain on a paper towel and serve hot. 

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