• Cachaca chicken skewers (Smith Street Books)Source: Smith Street Books

With this marinade of herbs, lime and Brazil's distilled spirit, cachaça, honey soy can step aside.






Skill level

Average: 2.8 (42 votes)


  • 1 kg (2 lb 3 oz) skinless chicken thigh fillets, each cut into 3 pieces
  • bamboo skewers, soaked in cold water
  • baby cos (romaine) lettuce leaves, to serve
  • ½ cup coriander (cilantro) leaves
  • ¼ cup mint leaves
  • 1 lime, cut in half

Cachaça marinade

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) cachaça (see Note)
  •  juice of 1 lime zest of 2 limes
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 cup mint leaves, torn
  • 1 long red chilli, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp soft brown sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Marinating time: 4 hours

To make the marinade, combine the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add the chicken pieces to the marinade, stirring well to coat.

Cover the bowl in plastic wrap (or transfer the whole lot to a zip-lock bag) and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat a barbecue grill to medium and lightly grease with oil. Thread the chicken pieces onto the skewers and cook on the grill, turning occasionally, for about 6–8 minutes until cooked through.

Pile the lettuce leaves onto a serving platter and place the skewers on top. Scatter with the coriander and mint leaves, and squeeze the lime juice over the top.



• Cachaça is a popular Brazilian distilled spirit made from sugarcane juice. Locally it may be referred to as ‘holy water’, ‘heart opener’ and ‘tiger breath’. It is available at large liquor outlets. This recipe is best started a day ahead to allow the sensational bold flavours to develop.


Recipe from Feed The Man Meat (Smith Street Books).