Thanksgiving in Lisbon 2012!


Thanksgiving “turkey” before going into the oven with a bunch of veggies

Happy Thanksgiving and welcome back to Expat in Lisbon! I just wanted to quickly share with you our Thanksgiving meal that we had in Portugal to celebrate this very American holiday. Thanksgiving is not popular in Portugal so don’t expect people to know what you are talking about when you mention it. I didn’t have any days off work for Thanksgiving so we had to postpone the dinner from the traditional 4th Thursday in November to…whenever I had the time to make a huge dinner! Because we were only 4 people I decided to swap the turkey for a chicken (high sacrilege I know) but I really didn’t feel like spending 4 hours basting and roasting a whole turkey. ANYWAY I reveal the recipe for the baked chicken that I made above in this post!


The recipe is a trade secret. FAT IS FLAVOR!

Above is my Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes that are guaranteed to give you vampire repelling breath for the rest of the evening! I made them with three whole bunches of roasted garlic and enough butter and heavy cream to swim in. MMM, the holidays.


Ready to Eat!

The Recipe for Festive Baked Chicken:


1 5lb chicken, cleaned inside and out with the gizzards and blood removed

White onions, apples, leeks, carrots, turnips, garlic, orange slices, lemon slices, cinnamon, cinnamon sticks, rosemary, fleur de sel do Portugal (sea salt from Portugal), black pepper, butter, olive oil.

I’m not a fan of measuring things because I figure that your kitchen and audience are different so you are going to have to scale up or scale down accordingly anyway, so I only list the main ingredients. Any competent cook should be able to pull off this recipe with ease.


Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celcius (we use Celcius here in Europe)

Thoroughly bathe the chicken in cold running tap water and pat dry. On a large oven roasting tray, lather a bunch of butter and olive oil on the outside and the inside cavity. Sprinkle on rosemary, salt, and pepper inside and outside. Cut most the vegetables into thick pieces about 1 inch in thickness and spread around the chicken. Take one slice of orange and lemon and stuff them inside the cavity. Take a bit of each of the remaining veggies and chop them smaller and stuff them into the chicken cavity after the orange and lemon. Then take an apple corer and decore two or four apples, sprinkle cinnamon in the cavity, and stuff with a cinnamon stick. Arrange around the chicken in the four corners. Cover the entire roasting tray and chicken with aluminum foil. Put it into the oven for approximately 2-2.5 hours. You can take it out and baste it every 40 minutes if you like, but because of the aluminum foil I found this unnecessary. To test for doneness you can use a meat thermometer or do what I did and cut into the chicken at the densest part at 2.25 hours and see if the juices run clear, and if they do, put it back for another 10 minutes for a margin of safety. Take out of the oven, remove the foil, and serve right on the roasting tray!

Happy Thanksgiving 2012!

Happy Thanksgiving 2012!

Saude! Thanks for visiting Expat in Lisbon for our Thanksgiving 2012 celebration. Happy Holidays!

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