The Perfect Barbecue Piri-Piri Chicken Recipe

Barbecue Piri Piri Chicken Recipe


The perfect barbecue piri-piri chicken recipe is like little slices of soft warm moist heaven served on a plate and eaten for a great spicy explosion in your mouth. It’s also a great way to do something different with chicken on the barbecue, although this simple barbecue chicken recipe tastes good too.

So, forget about heading to Nando’s and make Piri-Piri Chicken at home on your good old barbecue instead. Once you’ve got the hang of it you’ll never look back – unless you’re looking back to see if there’s any left of course!



  • 1 1 ½ kg chicken
  • 4 red chillies, chopped up and deseeded (unless you like it hot)
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 red bird’s eye chillies, stalks removed and sliced. You can add more depending on how hot you want it
  • 2 teaspoons of sweet paprika
  • 2 tablespoons of parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar



  1. Firstly we’re going to spatchcock the chicken, also known as a butterfly. It basically means flipping the chicken over so that the backbone faces you. Get a pair of kitchen scissors and cut down each side of the backbone, discarding it. Spread the chicken open, making a small cut in the keel bone area. Next make cuts down each side of the cartilage, before pushing the bird down. The keel bone should pop out and you should then be able to pull it straight out. The chicken should now be a butterfly shape, flatten it down as much as you can with your hands as this will make it easier to cook. You can cut it down the centre to split into two halves if you want.
  2. Put all the chilies into a food processor, adding a pinch of salt. If you don’t have a food processor you can use a pestle, mortar and a good bit of elbow grease instead. Once you’ve blended the paste together, add the paprika, parsley, vinegar and olive oil and mix it together. Smear this concoction over the chicken and leave to marinate for at least one hour. I left it overnight, which gives it more than enough time to absorb those succulent juices.
  3. Next it’s time to get your barbecue ready! You probably already know how to get a barbecue setup and heated up to the right temperature, to improve control over the flames try a gas barbecue from BBQbarbecues. Once the barbecue is ready, pop the chicken on the centre of your barbie, making sure that it’s skin-side down. Cook for 15-20 minutes until it looks decently charred. Check that the juices run clear, and if not you’ll need to pop it back on the barbecue for a bit longer.
  4. Enjoy, and please let us know if you liked it in the comments.


Side Dishes for Piri Piri Chicken:

Lemon wedges are a simple addition to the plate, and gives your barbecue piri-piri chicken that extra zing. BBC Good Food has a tasty recipe for wild rice salad that goes brilliant with some chicken. Plain rice will do just fine though, as it’s a good balance to the hotness of the chicken. I also like to have corn on the cob, a salad (lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber), coleslaw, potato wedges (or chips as shown above) and onion rings. You don’t have to have all of those of course, unless you’re really hungry!

Image from Andres Moreno on Flickr. Used under a Creative Commons Licence.