Brazilian drunken and happy chicken

“And those caipirinhas at Galeto Sats! You get a lot of bang for your buck.”

Tom Le Mesurier, Eat Rio

In Rio recently we visited Galeto Sats, a rather splendid galateria (chicken restaurant) with plastic table cloths and its original, traditional Portuguese tiles.

Obviously, the thing to eat here is chicken. This is a very simple, informal restaurant which serves simply grilled chicken wings with some of the best garlic bread I’ve ever tasted, and the heartiest caipirinhas that I’ve ever drunk.

The caipirinhas served here are not for the faint-hearted and the chicken is also liberally laced with lashings of the local hooch – cachaça.

Serve the chicken on a big plate along with a roll of paper towel so that people can eat the wings in their fingers. A strong caipirinha and butter-drooling garlic bread combine to make this a simple but perfectly formed repast.

Yearning for your five a day? It also goes well with a savoury peach salad. With that it makes a decent supper – otherwise the little bits of chicken and the garlic bread could almost be just nibbles with the caipirinhas.

No cachaça? You could substitute vodka or, better, rum.

This would also work well on a barbecue.

Recipe for Brazilian drunken and happy chicken

Serves 4


  • 600g chicken wings or thighs (if you can get them, buy boneless, and, if possible, breadcrumbed)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed with 1 tsp smoked salt
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 80 ml/⅓ cup plus another 60 ml/¼ cup cachaça
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • some flat-leaved parsley
  • 1 lime
  • generous grinds of Indonesian long pepper


  1. In a well-fitting roasting tin put the pieces of chicken.
  2. Pour over, distributing well, the olive oil, the first lot of cachaça, the pepper, the garlic and the oregano.
  3. Mix the chicken into all these ingredients with your hands, then cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for a couple of hours or so.
  4. Preheat the oven to 210°C.
  5. Roast for about 15 minutes, turning after five.
  6. Serve garnished with some torn parsley and some lime slices.


If you don’t serve this immediately, it goes a bit soggy. You can make ahead, and then fry on a high heat, turning constantly, for about five minutes to crisp up before serving up.

Music to cook to

Listen to Django Reinhardt playing Brasil as you make this:

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