Piri Piri Chicken

#585       Comment on this recipe.


    When making the sauce, don't skimp on the chili powder or the Fresno chilies, they are not very hot and are necessary for developing the flavor! You can apply less sauce, or choose not to add additional at the table!

    If you can not find New Mexico (Hatch) or California chili powder, omit or substitute additional paprika. I order red mild hatch chili powder online from Hatch, New Mexico, it is delicious!

    This recipe can be cut in half, if you prefer to only make 4 pieces of chicken.

    This is good served with Coconut Rice!


  1. 6 T New Mexico (Hatch) chile powder or California chili powder
  2. 2 T ground cumin
  3. 2 T ground coriander
  4. 2 T sweet paprika
  5. 3 T kosher salt
  6. 4 bone in chicken breasts, large
  7. 4 to 6 chicken legs
  8. 4 T white sugar
  9. 16 medium Fresno chiles, stemmed and quartered
  10. 6 medium garlic cloves
  11. 1/2 red wine vinegar
  12. 2 c fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems, finely chopped


  1. In a medium bowl, mix together chile powder, cumin, coriander, paprika and salt.
  2. Transfer 4 T of the mixture to a small bowl, setting the rest aside.
  3. Loosen the skin of the chicken breasts and legs by gently working your fingers between the skin and the flesh. Using a small spoon, evenly distribute the 4T of spice mixture under the skin, then rub it into the flesh. Set the chicken on a baking sheet.
  4. In a food processor, combine the remaining spice mixture, sugar, chiles and garlic. Pulse until finely chopped, scraping down the bowl as needed.
  5. With the machine running, pour in the lemon juice and vinegar; process until smooth, scraping down the bowl once or twice.
  6. Measure out 1/2 c of the sauce, reserving the rest.
  7. Brush the 1/4 c evenly over the chicken, including the bone side.
  8. Let stand at room temperature for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  9. Meanwhile, prepare a gas grill, set half of the burners to high. Heat the grill, covered for 5 to 10 minutes, then clean and oil the cooking grate.
  10. Set the chicken skin side up on the cooler side of the grill.
  11. Cover and cook for 25 minutes.
  12. Using tongs, rotate the chicken 180 degrees to bring the far side of the chicken closest to the heat.
  13. Cover and continue to cook until the thickest part of the breast reaches 160°F, about another 25 to 35 minutes.
  14. Brush the chicken with 4 T of the reserved sauce, then use tongs to flip it skin side down onto the hot side of the grill. Cook until the skin is lightly charred, 1 to 2 minutes.
  15. Transfer skin side up, to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes.
  16. Stir the cilantro into the remaining sauce, then baste the chicken once more.
  17. Serve with the remaining sauce on the side.

How to Photos

Piri Piri Chicken - How to Photos

Picture of Recipe

Piri Piri Chicken - Picture of Recipe
Piri Piri Chicken - Picture of Recipe
Serves: 4 to 6
Prep Time: 75 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Course: Entree
Ethnicity/Origin: Portuguese,South African
Key Ingredient: Chicken
Difficulty: 3 - Difficult
Make Ahead: No
Prep Method: Grill

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