Piri Piri Chicken

As the holiday season approaches, it’s time to start roasting whole birds again, and one of the best roast chicken dishes is the “Frango Piri Piri” or the Piri Piri Chicken, a Portuguese dish with a southwestern Africa root (that’s where the Piri Piri or Bird’s Eye Chili pepper is from). This dish is sweet and spicy, and super easy to make, it’s traditionally grilled, but you can bake it in an oven, or sear it on a pan.


You need:

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 2 red chili peppers (Piri Piri or Bird’s Eye Chili pepper would be ideal)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 whole chicken or 3 lb chicken parts
  • 3 Yukon gold potato

How to make this:

  1. Roughly chop the garlic, shallot, red bell pepper, poblano pepper, red chili peppers and cilantro, then blend them in a food processor or blender with the smoked paprika, dried oregano, olive oil, and salt. You can use the marinade now, but for a proper Piri Piri sauce,  let the sauce sit in a sealed container for 5 to 7 days before use
  2. Mix the juice of one lemon and the red wine vinegar into the sauce, save 1/4 of the sauce for later, rub the rest on the chicken and let it marinate for at least 6 hours
  3. Slice the onion into 1/2 cm or 1/5 inch slices, toss them in some olive oil, salt, and pepper, then place them on the bottom of a baking tray or a cast iron pan, and place the marinated chicken on top
  4. If the Chicken is already cut into piece, you can grill it on hot grill for 5 min each, a whole chicken takes about 13 min per sides
  5. If you use an oven, heat to 220 C or 425 F degrees, let the chicken bake for 30 min, brush a layer of sauce, then bake for another 30 min or until the meat reaches 75 C or 165 F. Broil the chicken for 2 min at the end
  6. Sever it with some chopped fresh herbs

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