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Spicy Piri Piri Chicken

Spicy Piri Piri Chicken
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Piri Piri Chicken – or alternatively Peri Peri Chicken – is a traditional dish created by Portuguese settlers in Africa, using red chile peppers known as piri piri in Swahili. The ingredients create a complex, spicy marinade for the chicken, which is spatchcocked to allow the flavor to soak into every bite and the flame on the grill to lightly char every inch. 

    15 min
    40 min
    55 min


  • 1 ¾ lb. chicken, spatchcocked
  • 2 long red chiles
  • 5 Thai red chiles
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 shallot
  • ¼ cilantro
  • 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar


  1. Roughly chop chiles, garlic, shallot, and cilantro; add to food processor or blender; add paprika, salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon juice and vinegar and blend to form a smooth sauce.
  2. In a glass baking dish, arrange chicken and pour on most of sauce, carefully coating the entire chicken. Reserve a portion of sauce for basting. Allow chicken to marinate in the refrigerator 1-4 hours.
  3. Preheat grill to medium heat.
  4. Place the chicken skin side up on the grate, grilling covered for about 20-25 minutes, basting twice. Flip the chicken skin side down on the grate, grilling covered another 10-15 minutes, basting once more. If the grill gets too hot while grilling the skin, turn off one burner and continue over indirect heat. Ensure chicken is fully cooked in the thickest part before removing.
  5. Carefully remove chicken to a platter, allow to rest 5-10 minutes and serve.

For a great side dish to spicy Piri Piri Chicken, check out our Smoked Potatoes Recipe.