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Homemade Portuguese Grilled Peri Peri Chicken Recipe

I have been cooking this recipe for years, and it is always a big hit. I mean, who doesn’t love grilled Portuguese spicy chicken?

This homemade easy peri peri chicken recipe works just as well on weekday evenings or when entertaining for a barbecue.

Bol de pilons de poulet à la portugaise

And not only is it a budget-friendly recipe, you can also easily find all the ingredients in your local grocery store.

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

The beauty of this recipe is that you can use different parts of the chicken. 

Portuguese Grilled Chicken (Piri Piri) Recipe

I usually make it with boneless and skinless chicken thigh but these chicken parts are just as good : 

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

Just keep in mind that the amount of marinade should be doubled if you use a whole chicken and that the cooking time will vary. But we’ll get to this part later in this article.

How long to marinate chicken?

It’s best to marinate the chicken for at least 45 minutes, but for the best flavor, the longer the better. 

To get a head start, I like to marinate the chicken when I come back from the grocery store before placing it in a freezer bag in the freezer.

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.

You then have a delicious homemade peri peri chicken to cook in the evening.

What you’ll need to make this recipe

What side dish to serve with this Portuguese chicken?

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

To accompany this marinated 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, or piri piri shrimp.

To prepare a Portuguese-style flattened chicken

Grilled Peri Peri chicken

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 chopped onion and rep bell peppers at 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 meat thermometer inserted in the center of the meat. 
A favourite recipe that I have been preparing again and again for many years!

A favorite recipe that I have been preparing again and again for many years! 
 
Recette de poulet portugais
Yield: 3

Portuguese grilled Peri Peri Chicken

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 or vegetable 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 (add extra sauce if you want to increase the spice level)

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 but you can also use an airtight container.)
  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, 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 crispy and golden, and the meat easily comes off the thigh bone. You can also rely on a meat 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

Side dish suggestions: serve with a green salad, roasted potatoes, fries or grilled vegetables. 



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