Monday, March 9, 2015

Piri Piri Chicken

Have you ever heard of Piri Piri? It is Portuguese in origin and popular in South Africa. Recipes vary but the common ingredients are chilli, lemon, oil, red bell peppers and garlic. It is used as a sauce, marinade or seasoning. It was new to me when I saw a recipe for Mixed Grill with Spicy Piri Piri Sauce in a cookbook. But it soon became a favorite in our family. In a previous post, I shared a Father's Day meal where we used piri piri sauce on pork and beef. Well now there is a new restaurant in town call Boneheads that specializes in Piri Piri fish, chicken and shrimp. They have four different sauces ranging from mild to very hot. I have tried them all and they are delicious. I decide to try a twist on the Piri Piri Sauce recipe I had made in the past. I wanted to use birds eye chilies. I only used six even though I saw recipes that called for more. It turned out much spicier than the previous version. You could call this one hot and the other mild. The funny thing is that once grilled, the chicken is not hot at all. The fresh sauce has great heat and lingers on the tongue. But the grilled chicken has more sweetness of the red peppers than the spice of the birds eye chilies. It is so delicious! I chose to make some sides you might find at Boneheads or Nando's another popular Piri Piri restaurant chain. Both serve a spicy yellow rice. While only one serves a sweet soy broccoliI loved this meal! It was a great healthy plate and the best part, I have more Hot Piri Piri Sauce for experimenting. I see Piri Piri Mayo and Piri Piri Mushrooms in my future. I hope you will put Piri Piri on your menu.

Piri Piri Chicken


2 red bell peppers
6 birds eye chilies* stems removed
4 Tbsp. lime juice
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp olive oil
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast
Kosher salt, to taste


Combine bell peppers, birds eye chilies, lime juice, sugar, salt, garlic and cumin in blender; puree. Drizzle in olive oil and continue to blend until all ingredients are liquefied. Pour sauce into a Mason jar and store any leftovers in the frig. Add chicken to a zip top bag. Pour in enough sauce to cover chicken, squeeze out air and seal the bag; turn to coat the chicken with the marinade. Refrigerate, turning bag occasionally, marinade at least 30 minutes*. Remove chicken from marinade and season both side with salt. Grill chicken on a medium high grill about 6 minutes a side (time may vary depending on your grill) and serve with reserved sauce.

Note: You can make this sauce as mild or spicy as you like. Add jalapeno for a mild sauce, a serrano for a little more heat or use birds eye chilies for hot. If you want more heat add more peppers.

Marinating depends on the protein. If using pork and beef it can go for up to 8 hours; if using shrimp, fish or chicken it should not be marinated that long. Try 30 minutes.

Linking to:
Ms. enPlace: See Ya in the Gumbo
The Tumbleweed Contessa: What'd You Do This Weekend?
Reasons To Skip The Housework: Skip The Housework Link Party
Memories By The Mile: Treasure Box Tuesday
Stone Cottage Adventures: Tuesdays with a Twist
Anyonita Nibbles: #tastytuesdays
Dizzy Busy & Hungry: Wine'd Down Wednesday
Love Bakes Good Cakes: Freedom Fridays with All My Bloggy Friends
The Diary of a Real Housewife: Friday Favorites
Mary's Kitchen: Real Food Friday


  1. What a great recipe for chicken! I need to try it! Pinning!

    1. Thanks for pinning, Julia! So glad you stopped by. I hope you enjoy it.

  2. II love chicken away you can make it. Not real fond of hot foods but this sounds so healthy. Thanks for sharing on Real Food Fridays. Pinned & twitted.

  3. I've heard of piri piri but just the name only. with the peppers and lime it seems like a nice refreshing topping for chicken or other meat. Of course, I like the spicy kick too.

  4. I love piri piri! I first had it in Portugal, years ago, on my honeymoon. Now I enjoy making it at home. Your version looks delicious! Thanks for sharing at What'd You Do This weekend? I hope you will join us again this Monday morning :)


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