Preheat oven to 180°C. Use a sharp pair of kitchen scissors to remove the chicken’s backbone, then pat dry with kitchen paper Portuguese. Mix the garlic powder, paprika, oregano, sugar, chilli powder and vinegar with 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, then rub onto the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Wrap the garlic heads in foil and bake for 1 hour. Allow to cool, then squeeze out the garlic paste. Pour the beer into a medium saucepan and set over a moderate heat. Boil to reduce by half, then stir in the thyme, golden syrup and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then arrange over a moderate barbecue grill. Cook for 45 minutes, turning several times, until firm to touch and the juices run clear when pierced at the hip. Begin basting the chicken with the beer mixture after the first twenty minutes of cooking, and continue basting every five minutes until cooked.
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