Piri-Piri Grilled Chicken

Aug 28, 2023 | Main Meals

Piri Piri Chicken

Piri-Piri Grilled Chicken

Piri-piri chicken is a spicy Portuguese dish that was created in Africa by Portuguese settlers. The traditional hot pepper used in this dish is African Bird’s Eye Peppers grown in Africa. However, a variety of hot peppers are a great substitute in this recipe.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 4 Servings


  • For the Marinade:
  • 3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 1 tablespoon Filippo Berio olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1 shallot cut into quarters
  • 2 pounds chicken drumsticks
  • 4 bone-in Chicken thighs
  • Piri Piri Sauce
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Kosher Salt & Pepper
  • 2 long green or red peppers see note
  • 3 garlic cloves crushed
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • ¼ cup Olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped Cilantro
  • Lemon wedges for serving


  • Combine ingredients for marinade in a food-safe resealable bag – Lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and shallot. Add chicken, seal bag and toss to coat. Refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.
  • Meanwhile, prepare Piri-Piri sauce. See note regarding red chilis before beginning.
  • In a food processor, add juice of one lemon, chili peppers, garlic, paprika, olive oil and cilantro. Process until smooth.
  • Preheat outdoor grill to medium-high heat.
  • Remove chicken from marinade, season liberally with kosher salt and pepper. Using a pastry brush, brush Piri-Piri sauce all over chicken.
  • Place Grill chicken over medium heat, cook for about 35 minutes, turning half-way through.
  • Notes:
  • Before working with any hot peppers, wearing rubber gloves is strongly recommended.
  • Types of peppers you can use for this recipe: Long green or red peppers, chili peppers, serrano peppers, jalapeno peppers, guagillo. However, the traditional recipe is prepared using African Bird’s Eye Peppers grown in Africa!
  • Which ever pepper you decide to use, remember the heat if found in the seeds, remove seeds to reduce the heat intensity of this dish if desired.


Recipe by: Jacqueline Gomes, MBA, RDN
Keyword high protein


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