Super Simple Piri Piri Chicken

June 13, 2016

Super Simple Piri Piri Chicken

As you already know I adore spicy food, and I have no trouble with it except my nose runs terribly and I start sweating profusely on my head.
Do you remember how Pavarotti wiped sweat off his forehead with a handkerchief? Just like that. Not pretty.
And it can be a little embarrassing, especially while eating in social situations.
That’s why when I go out for work or when I’m with a certain group of people I go a little mild. Instead I let the spice fly with my closest friends or when I’m eating alone.

Super Simple Piri Piri Chicken

Why am I telling you this?
Because this Piri Piri Chicken is fiery hot.
The sauce/marinade — which originates in Portugal, but is widely used in African countries like Angola, Mozambique, and South Africa — is made with bird’s eye chilies — and these little suckers sure pack a wallop.
They are HOT, like H to the O to the T hot.

Super Simple Piri Piri Chicken

But describing piri piri sauce as hot wouldn’t do it justice because it packs such a big hop flavor it will awaken your tongue and senses.
There’s garlic, shallot, oregano, paprika, and lemon. I know, awesome!
It tastes so amazing, you’ll be like “Yeah man!
And sure enough the spiciness of piri piri sauce can be adjusted by the amount of the chilies used. But if you’re not afraid I say just go for it. You won’t regret it.

Super Simple Piri Piri Chicken

Super Simple Piri Piri Chicken                                                                                                          Print this recipe!

Heat Warning: Bird's eye chilies are very hot. If your taste tends toward medium or mild-spiced foods, try de-seeding it and use just 1. Using 4 chilies will provide for a pretty decent heat. If you want the suicidal heat go for 10, your call!

Serves 6

4 boneless chicken breasts

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Juice of 2 lemons
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
1 shallot (or small onion), sliced
1 to 4 bird's eye chili (or 2 teaspoons chili powder), adjust depending on how hot you want it
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
Ground black pepper to taste


In a blender (or food processor) combine white vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, shallot, bird’s eye chili (or chili powder), paprika, oregano, and black pepper. Blend until smooth.
In a shallow sealable container or in a large ZipLoc bag combine chicken breasts and marinade. Cover (or seal) and marinate for at least 2 hours (marinate overnight for fullest flavor).
Grill the chicken or bake.
To bake, preheat oven to 450°F (230°C) and place a rack in the middle.
Place chicken breasts in a large baking dish or on foil-lined baking sheet.
Bake uncovered for 12 minutes, then flip on the other side and bake for further 12 minutes, or until cooked through (the temperature should register 165°F on an instant-read thermometer).
Cooking time depends on how big the chicken breasts are and how hot your oven is, the most important thing is that the chicken is cooked through.
Once cooked, let the breasts rest for a minute or two before serving to allow the juices to evenly distribute through the meat.
Sprinkle with a bit of chopped fresh parsley and serve.

Nutrition facts

One serving yields 200 calories, 13 grams of fat, 2 grams of carbs, and 22 grams of protein.


  1. You know I'm down for this :) I also love the Pavorotti reference. Where did you find the peppers? I don't think I've seen them at the stores here.

    1. I found 'em at an import store but I think WF carries them as well!

  2. Mike, I love that you made your own piri-piri as the store bought stuff just ain't hot enough! I adore spicy food too - think I might have to up the birds eye chilies though as I love it super spicy!

  3. This name - Piri Piri Chicken - always makes me smile (I don't know why.) I've never been bold enough to try this recipe cause of all these hot peppers involved. I guss I can go with 1 tiny seedless chili:) Looks delicious, Mike!

    1. I know, Piri-Piri makes me giggle as well...I guess we're still kids