Portuguese Frango na Púcara

Looking for something different for dinner? This hearty, slow-cooking chicken entrée is easy to make and features an interesting blend of flavors. The recipe comes from the city of Alcobaça on Portugal’s west coast; traditionally it is prepared in a special clay pot called a púcara, but you can use any covered baking dish. Complement with roasted or mashed potatoes, polenta or rice and oven-fresh bread and dinner is served!


  • 1 chicken (or equivalent), cut into 6-8 pieces
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 T mustard
  • 1 C smoked ham, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 4 med-sized tomatoes, skinned, seeded & diced
  • 1/2 C fresh pearl onions
  • 1/2 C button mushrooms
  • 1/3 C olive oil
  • 1 C dry white wine
  • 1/2 C port wine
  • 1/3 C brandy (we like Macieira Royal Brandy)


Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Season chicken pieces with pepper and crushed garlic; and rub well with mustard. Chill for at least 1 hour. Place chicken in a baking dish (Dutch oven or casserole with lid). Add ham, diced tomatoes, mushrooms and pearl onions. Drizzle with olive oil. Add the wines and brandy. Cover and bake for about 50 minutes. Remove lid and continue baking for another 30 minutes to brown the dish. Serve hot.

  • Cook time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Makes 4 servings.