Piri Piri Chicken

Piri Piri Chicken is a traditional, spicy African-Portuguese grilled chicken made with a Piri Piri pepper sauce.
Piri Piri Chicken

Piri Piri Chicken

By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

This is a recipe derived from a combination of source recipes, one from grilling master Steven Raichlen, the other from the Roasty Chicken Churrasqueira restaurant, Ontario, Canada, which was posted to Recipezazz.com by Dreamer in Ontario.

Piri Piri Sauce
Piri Piri Sauce

Originally this type of recipe originated in Africa from Portuguese settlers who brought the piri piri pepper with them. It is possible that same type of pepper  got its start in South American and made its way across the spice route eastward to become the Thai chilis we know today. But who knows? Peppers grow all over,  especially hot ones, and despite their origin, the place they are grown is what truly gives a pepper it’s heat and character.

Piri Piri Chicken

Piri Piri Chicken

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: advanced
  • Print

Piri Piri Chicken

  • Prep Time: 6h
  • Cook Time: 40m


Piri Piri Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground piri piri or cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons piri-piri sauce (from above)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 1 large shallot, peeled, quartered
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 cup piri-piri sauce (from above)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 whole (3 1/2 to 4-pounds) chicken, spatchcocked


  1. Mix together ingredients for piri piri sauce and set aside.
  2. To make the glaze, cook the garlic in the butter until it is golden brown, then stir in the cilantro, piri piri sauce and lemon juice; simmer for about 2 minutes.
  3. To prepare chicken, spatchcock the chicken (see method here: How to Spatchcock a Chicken), or alternatively, you could use two split broiler halves. Tuck the wing tips behind and under.
  4. To prepare marinade, pulse the cilantro, ginger, shallot and garlic in a food processor to make a coarse paste. Add remaining marinade ingredients and stir,
  5. Marinate chicken with marinade for 4-6 hours, or preferably overnight. I use a large ziploc, but you can use a marinade dish if you have one, turning the bird occasionally.
  6. Prepare grill for indirect cooking (heat element or coals to one side, drip pan on the other- you put the chicken over the drip pan, not the coals).
  7. While grill is heating, drain off the marinade from the chicken and bring to a boil in a small pan, boil three minutes and reserve to use as a baste.
  8. Place chicken skin side up over the drip pan, and grill, covered, until chicken is done or an instant read thermometer reads 165ºF. in the thickest part (40 minutes to an hour estimated), basting occasionally with reserved-cooked marinade.
  9. Rewarm reserved glaze near the end of cook time for the chicken.
  10.  Place chicken on platter and brush with reserved warm glaze.

From the kitchen of palatablepastime.com

Piri Piri Chicken

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