Sunday, 14 June 2009

Portuguese Roast chicken-Chicken Piri-Piri

In Portugal you see chicken being roasted on a electric spin roast constantly. They are marinated for hours previously and the spicy flavours sip into the flesh during the cooking process.

Piri Piri is the spice of preference.
This Spice gives the chicken an Amazing flavour!

According to Wikipedia:Piri-piri, peri-peri or peli-peli is the name used in Mozambique and Angola to describe the African bird's-eye chili. The variations in spelling derive from the various pronunciations of the word in parts of Africa, although "piri-piri" is the correct spelling in Portuguese.In Mozambican cuisine, piri-piri is often used in preparing sauces and marinades for roast and grilled dishes, especially chicken and various fish. Piri-piri is widely used in a vast number of dishes of Portuguese cuisine.
Not having an electric spit roast at home I decided to create my homemade version. The secret is in the marinade, which should be for at least two hours.

1/2 cup of white wine
1 tbsp of paprika
1 tsp of piri piri powder or cayenne pepper if you really cant find it
1 chicken stock cube
1/2 cup of olive oil

For the chicken
1 medium size chicken
2 whole cloves of garlic
2 bay leaves
1 lemon

For the mediterranean salad
1 Romaine lettuce or any of your choice
1 onion
2 red bell peppers
1/2 large cucumber
Some shredded carrot
Some Olives
some Parsley
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
White wine vinegar or Lemon Juice

In a small Bowl, mix all the ingredients for the marinade
Place the chicken in a bowl and rub in the marinade. Make sure you get under the skin and in the cavity too.

Stuff the chicken with bay leaves, half a lemon, cloves of garlic and remaining marinade.

Squeeze half a lemon juice all over the chicken

Refrigerate for at least two hours

Roast the red bell peppers over a live flame until the skin is black and crispy

Set aside and allow them to cool down
Once cool, remove the skin and slice.

Preheat the oven to maximum temperature
Place chicken in the oven and allow it to cook at such a high temperature to seal all of the juices in.
After 30 minutes, turn the oven temperature down to 180 degrees.
Pour the remaining marinade in a roasting ray and add some water-by placing the chicken on a rack over this,you will allow the juices to steam and sip into the meat

While the chicken is cooking, prepare your salad. I like to use these ingredients but you can add any of your choice.
Add the red bell peppers to your salad, season with salt, pepper, olive oil and white wine vinegar

Remove chicken from the oven (after about 1 1/2 hours depending on the size)
allow it to cool for at least 15 minutes. Serve with the salad and enjoy!

P.s: I have a new camera, can you tell???


  1. It all look delicious! You new camera takes some nice photos! :0)

  2. lovely what is piri piri made of ? , always went to nandos but i bet yours is better

  3. Hi Ruth,

    Thank you for visiting. I am so glad I landed on your page today. My family brought back some piri piri from Portugal last month and I have been meaning to find a recipe so I can put it to use. I will definitely try this chicken. Thanks!

    Pink Foodie

  4. Thanks for all your comments, hope yu give it a go! Peri peri is an Afrian Bird's eye chilli, imported to Portugal during the colonial times.

  5. This I make all the time and also eat it out at Nandos, yeah I did live in Africa and know very well the birds eye chillies, I love piri-piri chicken now here in England where I live called peri-peri .. Yours looks a treat, I would have loved to have eaten some of it. cheers :) xx

  6. i love peri-peri chicken. We could easily have it here at a restaurant called Nandos !

  7. may I know where did you buy the electric spin oven. since i think it would be more delicious if I roasted them using that oven. thx

  8. Peri-peri is just awesome. Spicy chicken may well be one of the world's greatest things and this style is right up there with the best of them. Now that summer approaches, we're going to do our own version of this after spatchcocking/butterflying the bird and then grilling it. Apparently, constantly basting it with peri-peri sauce makes it super moist and, yes, very spicy. Thanks for the recipe!