Frango no Espeto

Franco no Espeto/chickem shish kabob

Frango no Espeto

When I made the Chicken Shawarma, I though using the same method making my Franco no Espeto (in Portuguese) which mean Chicken Shish Kabobs with a twist. All I can say it was out of this world and the house smelled so good.

Frango no Espeto (Chicken Shish Kabob)
Frango no Espeto (Chicken Shish Kabob)

The set up of this one is the same way when I made the chicken shawarma but the wet rub is definitely different. It very savory and when you take a bite of the chicken, it brings me back when I was in Azores with my family and making this one summer night. It brings me back a kid and loving being in Santa Maria, Azores and playing with the kids around my home. Those days were amazing!

Traditionally, making this chicken involves skewers and honestly I always have them but not this time. I went back to the one a made and came out great. You can check out how I made it HERE. I baked mine because I used the spit but if you do have skewers, you can use a griddle or grill for this recipe.

The Ingredients

  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs: I love using chicken thighs because they’re pretty cheap and nearly impossible to overcook. And they’re perfect for flavorful recipes like this shawarma that uses a variety of bold flavors. However, you can use breasts, if you prefer.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: To marry the spices in the marinade together and adhere them to the chicken thighs.
  • Garlic: Minced fine so they almost melt into the chicken thighs and other spices.
  • Piri Piri Sauce: this is a Portuguese hot sauce but you can use any hot sauce in the recipe or leave it out.
  • Dry Seasonings: salt, onion powder, ground white pepper, paprika, garlic powder, saffron (sazon goya packets), turmeric, cayenne pepper, cumin, parsley and oregano
  • Fresh Parsley: Chopped for garnish. (optional)

How To Make This

Making this at home is a lot easier to make than you might think! All you need is a few minutes of prep time.

This recipe all starts with an awesome marinade. The chicken can be marinated overnight or for at least 2 hours. Once the chicken has marinated, I preheat the oven to 425 degrees. A hot oven helps to crisp up the chicken and makes it perfectly golden brown. I cut up 2 onions in half and put two in the bottom and on top dipped with the marinate. Skewer the seasoned chicken on the spit, regular skewers or lay it on a oiled pan. I added 1/2 cup of water on the bottom of the pan with 1/2 stick of melted butter. This is for basting when needed. Bake for 40 minutes or until cooked through.

The last minute of cooking you can turn on the broiler to get some extra crispness and browning.

Serve the chicken over rice, cauliflower rice, mashed potatoes or in a roll. You are going to love it!

Cutting up the Frango no Espeto (Chicken Shish Kabob)

Shredded the chicken in large chunks and cut up the onions. I added back to the oven and broiled in high for 5 minutes.

Sautéed Sweet Peppers

I added a little something to go on top of the chicken and it was so good with the onions. Diced up 3 large pepper (I used red, orange and yellow peppers) and sautéed the pepper in olive oil. I added paprika, salt, white pepper, onion powder and 1/4 stick of unsweetened butter. Cook until peppers are soft. Add the cooked chopped onion into the mix. This will great on top of the chicken or in the rice.

Storage, Freezing, and Reheating Instructions

This Frango no Espeto (Chicken Shish Kabob) recipe is perfect for meal prepping ahead of a busy week or freezing to eat later.

  • Store leftover chicken in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Freeze cooked and cooled chicken in a freezer-safe, airtight container or plastic bag for one month. You can also prepare the chicken through the marinade stage and then freeze the raw chicken thighs and marinade together for up to 3 months. Allow cooked or raw frozen chicken to thaw in the fridge overnight or on the counter at room temperature.
  • Reheat thawed or chilled cooked chicken in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, until warmed through. Allow raw chicken to thaw completely before assembling to cook.

Frango no Espeto

Recipe by Lucy ChesnaCourse: Dinner, Lunch, MainCuisine: PortugueseDifficulty: Moderate


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Franco no Espeto (in Portuguese) which mean Chicken Shish Kabobs with a twist. All I can say it was out of this world and the house smelled so good.


  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons Piri Piri Sauce or any other hot sauce (optional)

  • 4 cloves garlic minced

  • Azorean Dry Rub Seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons paprika

  • 1 teaspoons cumin

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 2 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1 tablespoon saffron (2 Sazon Goya packets)

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 teaspoon oregano

  • 2 teaspoon dried parsley

  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper

  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • chopped fresh parsley for serving if desired


  • Add chicken to a large ziplock bag along with all of the ingredients except the chopped fresh parsley. Cover and store in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • When you are ready to cook preheat oven to 425 F degrees.
  • Place chicken in a greased baking dish or your very spit (if you made or have one already) and bake until golden brown and cooked through.
  • In the last minute or two of cooking switch the oven to Broil. Cook chicken for 1-2 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
  • Remove from the oven and allow the chicken to rest for a couple of minutes before slicing.
  • Top with chopped fresh parsley if desired. Serve the chicken over rice, cauliflower rice, mashed potatoes or in a roll.

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