Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Portuguese-Style Piri-Piri Chicken

The flavours of this recipe are so delicious it will become a family favourite. Serve the chicken hot on rice or couscous, or cold with salad in pita bread, wraps or on sliced challah. If you don't have a slow cooker, or if you want to serve it for the evening meal, you can marinate the chicken in a casserole for a few hours, then cook (covered) in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees C (350 F) for 40 minutes or until done.

20 ml olive oil (1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp.)
juice of one lemon
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons dried oregano or one tsp of fresh oregano, chopped
3 teaspoons Nando's peri-peri sauce (kosher in AU!) or 1 teaspoon chili powder or use
the homemade peri-peri sauce below
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
30 ml tomato paste (2 Tbsp.)
160 ml fruit chutney (heaping 2/3 cup) (I use mango chutney)
8 chicken thighs and legs, skin and fat removed

Preparation method:
1. Quickly brown the chicken pieces in a bit of olive oil - do not cook too long if using slow cooker
2.  Use some of the olive oil to grease the slow cooker (or casserole)
3.  Place the rest of the oil and all other ingredients except the chicken in the slow cooker or casserole and stir to mix.
4.  Remove any excess fat from the chicken pieces and place in the slow cooker or casserole dish.
5.  Stir to coat well with the marinade.
6.  Cover and cook on LOW overnight or place casserole on your blech over low heat.
7.  Serve hot on Basmati rice, with salad and bread.

This delicious recipe can easily be doubled.  You can also cook it more quickly for the evening meal by cooking in a conventional oven as directed at top of recipe.
This does make a great winter Hamin or Cholent, though.

Homemade Piri-Piri Sauce:

10 – 12 birdseye chillies, chopped finely (medium size, medium heat)
Pinch salt
Juice of ½ lemon
1/3 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp garlic powder or 2 fresh garlic cloves, pressed)
1/4 tsp corriander powder or 1 tsp chopped fresh corriander/cilantro

Place above ingredients into a blender or magic bullet and puree it all together.  Be careful to wash your hands or wear gloves when handling the chilis!

Delicious served warm or cold!


  1. Here is the authentic peri-peri receipe which we follow from africa given to me by fellow portugese mates from angola/mozambique known in this part of the world as Mama Rahim's receipe.

    Assuming 12 chicken legs:
    The marinade is made up of the following:
    2 fresh limes - squeezed and pulp included.
    1 tablespoon salt
    2 teaspoons of paprika powder
    1 tablespoon of bird's eye chilli (alternatively, use dried thai chilli from chinese stores crushed).
    2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
    2 tablespoons of vinegar (white)
    1 tablespoon of crushed coriander seeds (powder)
    1 tablespoon of crushed garlic

    Mix completely until marinade is consistent. Then add the chicken pieces. Leave at least 12 hours - that is the key.

    Then on hot fire grill these chicken pieces; coating with the marinade at times to keep moist.

    Mama rahim's marinade matches Nandos if not better.... folks swear by it.

    1. Oh thanks so much! I appreciate the recipe. I will try this in a few weeks and let you know how it came out. Perfect for Pessah (Passover) for me.

      Looks like you have a delicious and interesting blog as well. I will have a browse!

  2. I made this tonight. It was quick and easy and came out great. I fried the chicken first and baked it in oven with the sauce. Cant wait to make it again. Thanks.

    1. I am happy that you enjoyed the chicken. I love to serve it with rice.

      May I ask if you made homemade piri piri sauce or used the bottled kind? I have done this both ways. Also, another commenter gave a recipe for piri piri sauce and I have made it and it came out really nice.

      Again, thanks for your comment.

      All the best,


  3. Thanks for your reply Leeba. I served the chicken with potatoes but it would be good with rice too as it has a lovely sauce. I uncovered the chicken for the last 20 minutes and it was done in one hour in oven.I used bottled sauce and if you have any more of these type of quick recipes it would be wonderful if you could post some. Thanks. Anisha Brisbane, Australia.

  4. Leeba
    We make the peri-peri sauce at home. Will cut/paste the receipe including peach/apricot chutney which beats Mrs ball's hands down.

  5. Just wondering why you would grease a slow cooker with oil, especially if using a marinade??