Piri-piri chicken

Home-made chilli sauce adds a delicious piquancy to chicken in Paul Bloxham's tasty recipe for a classic Portuguese dish
By Paul Bloxham
Piri-piri chicken
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus cooling and marinating
  • Effort: medium



  • 2 chicken
  • salt, and freshly ground pepper
  • 100 g butter
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 bunch of mint, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch of coriander, chopped

For the piri-piri sauce:

  • 6 -12 red chillies, depending on how hot you want it
  • 1 tbsp garlic, chopped and poached
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 50 ml red wine vinegar

To serve:

  • salt-baked new potatoes
  • salad
  • lemon wedges


1. First make the piri-piri sauce.

2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4. Place the chillies in a roasting tray and roast them for 10 minutes.

3. Cool and roughly the chop the chillies. Place the chillies, garlic, salt, olive oil and vinegar in a saucepan, bring to the simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes.

4. Allow to cool, then blend to a puree in a jug blender or food processor. Store in a lidded container at room temperature; it will keep for about a month. Shake before using.

5. Place the spatchcocked chickens in a sealable plastic bag. Add in half the piri-piri sauce, spreading it evenly over the chickens. Seal and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

6. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6. Preheat a large griddle pan on the hob.

7. Season the marinated chicken with salt and freshly pepper.

8. Cook the chicken on the griddle pan for 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden brown on each side.

9. Transfer the griddled chicken to a roasting tray and roast in the oven for 30 minutes, until cooked through.

10. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan on the hob. Add in the sugar and the remaining piri-piri sauce and heat through gently, stirring now and then. Keep the sauce warm and just before serving stir in the mint and coriander.

11. To serve, cut the chicken into portions and toss with the mint and coriander sauce.

12. Serve with salt baked new potatoes, salad and lemon wedges.

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