Thursday, 16 August 2012


Umami is yummy. Simply defined as a meaty savoury taste but it actually comes from glutamate, one of the building blocks of proteins, not necessarily from meat. I know that that still doesn't explain much. But just think of it as extra yumminess. 

One product I almost always use as a sure fire umami inducer is light soy sauce. It is a seasoning that goes well with any recipe. It gives saltiness as well as that extra punch that wouldn't be given by adding salt alone. It blends with other seasonings and won't stand out.

My family loves Nando's chicken. It is very simply grilled but well flavoured Portuguese style chicken that never fails to satisfy. Lime and mango is our favourite flavour. 

Inspired by Nando's, I used those flavours to marinate my chicken with. Aside from these fruit juices, I added (you guessed it) light soy sauce for extra yummy umami and spices. The result wasn't exactly like Nando's but nevertheless delicious and was very much appreciated by my family. This chicken only needs the bare minimum of side dishes and accompaniments. A fresh tossed salad with a simple vinaigrette, couscous or rice are all suitable. Glorious on a hot summer day!


1 whole chicken, split in the middle
1/2 c. mango puree
juice and grated rind of 1 lime
4 cloves of garlic, crushed (about 1 tbsp.)
1 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped (1/2 tsp. dried thyme)
2 tsps. paprika
1/4 tsp. chilli powder
1 tsp. ground coriander
2 tbsps. light soy sauce
2 tbsps. olive oil


Cut a few shallow slashes on the chicken. 

Put the rest of the ingredients together in a roasting pan and blend before adding in the chicken. Distribute the marinade all over the chicken, pushing it into the slashes. Leave to marinade for at least half an hour. This can sit in the fridge overnight. Bring it up to room temperature before cooking. 

Pre-heat the oven to 350°F / 180°C. Cover the chicken with a piece of greaseproof paper then cover the whole pan with foil tightly. Roast for 40 minutes. 

Pre-heat your barbecue before the end of the roasting time. Transfer the chicken halves to the barbecue at the end of the roasting time, and grill it on medium low for 30-40 minutes, basting with the pan juices occasionally. 

Chop into serving portions. Serve with rice, potatoes or couscous and a side salad.

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  1. Hello Adora,
    This chicken must be full of flavours, looking at yours already proving it.

  2. Yum! This sounds absolutely heavenly.
    Pinning :)

  3. I am making chicken shish tawook for dinner today but now i wish i hdn't marinated it coz i want to make one of these mind-blowing chicken recipes you have
    - abeer @

  4. I've seen a lot of use lately of mango puree, something I've never use. From the look of this chicken, it looks like it makes a great base for a marinade! Love the sweet and spicy of this chicken!

  5. I love the seasoning mix you used for this chicken and I've never tried mango or lime when roasting a bird - it sounds amazing! I'm featuring this post in today's Food Fetish Friday (with a link-back and attribution). I hope you have no objections and thanks for sharing such amazing creations...

  6. Thank you once again for the feature. I'm pleased and proud. No objections at all.

  7. This looks great would love to try it. Is it possible to do this chicken entirely in the oven and not have to use a barbecue?

    1. Absolutely. You can just put the chicken, skin side up, on a lined baking tray and cook for 30-40 minutes, basting occasionally with the pan drippings.

  8. That looks DELICIOUS! I am curious how it differs from Nando's? Is it less spicy or less sweet? Or?

    1. It is probably the spice blend that differs from Nando's. It is sweeter and fruitier, too. Do give it a try and tell me, John.

  9. Dear Adora, Mango is such a wonderful flavor to use with lemon and chicken. This sounds like a delicious summer meal. Blessings my dear, your friend, Catherine xo

  10. Sounds and looks awesome! thanks for the recipe ;)

  11. This looks so mouth watering!!! All your chicken dishes look fabulous :)


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