Piri Piri Chicken

Smoky, spicy and slightly sweet, Portuguese piri piri chicken is a perfect family meal

It’s hard to be prescriptive about cooking times as it depends on your grill (and some domestic grills are very poor), so these instructions are guidelines only. If you prefer to roast your joints, put them on a rack set in a roasting tin and cook for 40 minutes in an oven preheated to 220°C/425°F/gas mark 7.

In Portugal, whole small chickens or poussins – spatchcocked – are cooked this way, so use those if you prefer (get your butcher to do the spatchcocking). There is enough piri piri here for four poussins. Roast them just as you would joints.

1 small red pepper
50ml (2fl oz) olive oil
4 red chillies
4 Piri Piri Smoked Garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp dried oregano, or chopped fresh oregano leaves
½ tsp chilli flakes
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
juice of 2 lemons
½ tsp caster sugar
1 tsp sea salt flakes
6 skin-on bone-in chicken legs (drumsticks and thighs attached)

Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5. Halve and deseed the pepper, brush with a little of the oil, put into a small tin and roast until its flesh is soft (about 25 minutes). Peel the skin off if it comes off easily; leave it if it doesn’t. Chop roughly, then crush in a mortar and pestle. Set aside.
Remove the stems from the chillies and deseed them. Chop finely, then put into an empty mortar with the Piri Piri Smoked Garlic, oregano and chilli flakes. Pound to a rough paste, then add the vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, salt, remaining oil and red pepper. Put the chicken into a broad, shallow dish and pour on most of the marinade. Turn to coat, cover with cling fi lm and put in the fridge for about four hours (overnight is even better), turning a couple of times. Bring to room temperature before cooking.
Heat your grill and arrange the chicken on the grill pan, skin side up. Place the grill pan 10cm (4in) from the heat and grill for 12 minutes on each side, reducing the heat halfway through. Baste every so often with the juices or a little more marinade.
Move the chicken another 10cm (4in) from the heat and grill for another six or seven minutes on each side. The chicken should be cooked through (make sure the juices are clear and there is no trace of pink), sizzling and dark red.
Serve immediately with a lettuce, cucumber and tomato salad and fried potatoes or coarse country bread.


Based on a recipe by Diana Henry


Buy  Piri Piri Smoked Garlic


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