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Portuguese Chicken with Piri-piri Sauce

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Category: Healthy Recipes, Main Dish, Chicken

 Ingredients List

  • 1 whole chicken (about 1.2kg), butterflied (alternatively, use whole chicken legs)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ~~~~~ For the piri-piri sauce: ~~~~~
  • 6-12 fresh red chillies, depending on how hot you want it
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp oregano (optional)
  • ½ tbsp paprika
  • 100ml/3½fl oz olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar


To make the piri-piri sauce, boil the chillies in a pot of water for 3-5 minutes. Drain and roughly chop the chillies. Place the chillies, garlic, salt, bay leaf, oregano, paprika, olive oil and vinegar in a saucepan, and simmer for about 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and sugar to taste.

Allow the mixture to cool, then blend it to a purée in a jug blender or food processor. Store in a lidded container at room temperature.

Rub some salt and black pepper all over the butterflied chicken. Place the chicken in a sealable plastic bag. Add 2 tbsp of the piri-piri sauce, spreading it evenly over the chicken. Seal and marinate in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 200C (400)F. Place the chicken in a roasting tray and roast in the oven for 45 minutes or until cooked. Baste the chicken with pan juices halfway through roasting.

Serve with extra piri-piri sauce, chips and salad. I made a simple pear and rocket salad with a lemon and olive oil dressing to go with it. Yum!

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