piri piri chicken


Portuguese Piri Piri Chicken Recipe


Piri Piri Chicken with Cucumber, Tomato and Red Onion Salad

This fantastic dish is full of flavour and very easy to prepare. Piri Piri is a spicy pepper sauce that can be used as a marinade or for adding flavour when baking. It is a commonly used sauce in Portugal and ready-prepared bottles are widely available in shops and supermarkets. They are often available in differing heat/spice levels. I’d recommend a medium heat for this dish. Any leftover sauce can be brushed over fish or meat when barbecuing.

piri piri chicken

For the chicken:
4 large chicken thighs, skin on and bone in (use 8 if they are small)
4 tablespoons Piri Piri sauce
4 bay leaves (fresh or dried)
2 peppers, red and/or yellow
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

For the salad:
½ large cucumber
4 ripe tomatoes
1 small red onion, peeled
Handful pitted green olives
1 tablespoon red or white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
Small handful chopped flat-leaf parsley
You will also need kitchen foil

cucumber tomato and red onion salad


– Using a sharp knife, slash the chicken thighs 3 times into the flesh so the sauce can flavour the meat. Put into a bowl and mix with the sauce.

– Ideally leave to marinade in the fridge for 30 minutes – 1 hour, but cooking the chicken straight away will still give you a good flavour.

– Heat the oven to 200C/Fan 180C/gas 6.

– Put a piece of foil in the oven/grill tray and place the chicken skin-side-up, each one sitting on top of a bay leaf. Spoon over any sauce from the bowl.

– Cut the peppers into large wedges and remove the seeds. Place on the foil with the chicken, then drizzle over a glug of olive oil.

– Season with salt and pepper and put into the oven for 30 minutes, then turn the peppers.

– Cook for a further 15 minutes until the chicken skin is golden and crispy.

– While the chicken is cooking, cut the cucumber, tomatoes and red onion into small bite-size pieces and toss together with the olives, vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

– Once the chicken is cooked, serve with the salad and bread, rice or potatoes.

Serving suggestion:
The refreshing salad complements the spicy chicken perfectly and I suggest you serve with some crusty bread, cooked rice or crunchy sauté potatoes to create a delicious holiday feast.

If you’d like to eat Piri Piri Chicken in Portugal we have a great collection of villas to choose from in the Algarve, Costa Verde, Duoro Valley, Madeira and the Silver Coast.


Helen is a Marketing Communications Executive at James Villa Holidays.

I’ve been at James Villas since 2010 and while it’s pretty tortuous sometimes looking...

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See all articles by Helen

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