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Portuguese Grilled Chicken (Piri Piri) Recipe

Easy and delicious, this Portuguese grilled chicken recipe works just as well on weekday evenings or when entertaining for a barbecue.


Who doesn’t love Portuguese chicken ? This juicy, bold tasting charcoal-grilled chicken is very hard to resist!

With this recipe, you can prepare it now and again at home whenever you want!

Bol de pilons de poulet à la portugaise

It’s a budget-friendly recipe that works just as well on weekday evenings as it does when entertaining for a barbecue.

The best part is that this Portuguese chicken recipe is very simple to prepare but oh so tasty!

About the Portuguese chicken recipe

Which pieces of chicken should you use for preparing this recipe?

Portuguese Grilled Chicken (Piri Piri) Recipe

To make this Portuguese chicken, I recommend you use:

  • chicken thighs;
  • chicken drumsticks;
  • or a whole flattened chicken (also called spatchcock chicken).

And if you have a charcoal grill, the taste is simply magical!

For the marinade: it is best to marinate the chicken for at least 45 minutes for maximum flavor.

And if you want to prepare in advance, you can also freeze the chicken pieces with the marinade in airtight bags.

It’s very useful for those busy evenings, as you just take a bag out of the freezer in the morning or the night before and let it thaw during the day in the refrigerator.

What to serve this Portuguese chicken with?

Portuguese grilled chicken, green salad, piri-piri sauce and a good red wine glass

To accompany this Portuguese chicken, there are plenty of choices:

To bring a little variety, or when I have numerous guests, I sometimes add some sausages, such as merguez.

To prepare a Portuguese-style flattened chicken

Portuguese Grilled Chicken Recipe

More and more often, I prepare this recipe with a whole flattened chicken

With this cut, the chicken cooks faster and evenly on the grill, without getting dry. 

You can ask your butcher to prepare it or cut it yourself in this fashion at home. 

For a whole oven baked chicken, you will need to double the marinade recipe and follow these steps: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. 
  2. In a Pyrex dish, place the chicken over a sheet of parchment paper. 
  3. Brush the chicken thoroughly with the marinade. Feel free to gently peel the skin off the chicken and apply the marinade between the skin and the flesh of the chicken. 
  4. You can also add a chopped onion to the bottom of the dish. 
  5. Add 1 cup of water to the bottom of the dish (this will release steam during cooking and keep your chicken juicy and tender). 
  6. Bake and cook in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the skin of the chicken is golden brown and the meat easily comes off the drumstick. You can also rely on a cooking thermometer inserted in the center of the meat. 
A favourite recipe that I have been preparing again and again for many years!

A favourite recipe that I have been preparing again and again for many years! 
Recette de poulet portugais

Portuguese grilled chicken

Yield: 3
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Additional Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

A tasty grilled chicken recipe with Portuguese flavors 

Ingredients

  • 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs or 8 chicken drumsticks
  • OR a flattened chicken

For the marinade *(see Note 1)*

  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons of piri-piri sauce (or more according to your taste)

Instructions

For chicken thighs or drumsticks

  1. Combine all the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl, until the marinade gets a red paste consistency.
  2. Add the chicken pieces and coat them well with the marinade. (I like to use large plastic bags to marinate meats. I find this ideal for distributing the marinade well.)
  3. Let the meat marinate for 45 minutes or more.
  4. Cook on the BBQ until the chicken is well grilled (see Note 2). For chicken drumsticks, check with a cooking thermometer that the internal temperature of the chicken has reached 77 ° C (170 ° F). 

For a grilled flattened chicken

  1. Double the amounts for the marinade ingredients and mix them together, until the marinade has a red paste consistency.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  3. In a Pyrex dish, place the chicken over a sheet of parchment paper.
  4. Brush the chicken well with the marinade. Feel free to gently peel the skin from the chicken and apply the marinade between the skin and the flesh of the chicken.
  5. You can also add a chopped onion at the bottom of the dish.
  6. Add 1 cup of water to the bottom of the dish (this will release steam during
    cooking and keep your chicken juicy and tender).
  7. Bake and cook in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the skin of the chicken is golden and the meat easily comes off the thigh bone. You can also rely on a cooking thermometer inserted in the center of the meat.

Notes

NOTE 1: Double the amount of ingredients of the marinade for a whole chicken.

NOTE 2:  Cooking times will vary depending on the cut of chicken chosen. Allow about:

  • 15 minutes for the boneless thighs,
  • 30 to 40 minutes for the drumsticks,
  • and 45 minutes to 1h00 for a whole flattened chicken

To serve: serve with a green salad, roasted potatoes, fries or grilled vegetables. 


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