Piri Piri Chicken

PureWow editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. All prices are accurate upon date of publish. You can learn more about the affiliate process here.

Average ()
piri piri chicken recipe hero
Donna Griffith/The Primal Gourmet Cookbook

You can never have too many roast chicken recipes in your back pocket. So, take it from us: You’ll want to add this Portuguese rendition, courtesy of Ronny Joseph Lvovski’s The Primal Gourmet Cookbook, to your list ASAP.

A mainstay at Portuguese churrasquerias, this dish is named for the southeast African piri piri pepper. If you can find them near you, kudos. If not, use fruity, mild red finger or Anaheim chiles instead. Either way, this dinner party-caliber main is Whole30-, keto- and paleo-friendly.

P.S.: Before soaking the bird in the pepper marinade, spatchcock it. “Spatchcocking the chicken (butterflying it by removing the backbone) will reduce the cooking time and expose more of the skin, giving it a chance to get crispy,” Lvovski writes.

Excerpted from The Primal Gourmet Cookbook © 2020 by Ronny Joseph Lvovski. Photography © 2020 by Donna Griffith. Reproduced by permission of Penguin Canada. All rights reserved.


1 small yellow onion, halved

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup red wine vinegar

Juice of ½ lemon

4 garlic cloves, peeled

2 fresh red finger chiles (or Anaheim chiles, if not available)

One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

1 teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus more if desired

One 2½- to 3-pound whole chicken


1. In a blender, combine the onion, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, chiles, ginger, salt, smoked paprika, sweet paprika, oregano, cayenne, and ¼ cup water. Blend on high speed until smooth.

2. Dry the chicken with paper towels. Using sharp kitchen shears or a sharp knife, cut along one side of the backbone, leaving the other side attached. Lay the chicken breast-side up on a cutting board and press down on the breastbone with your hands to flatten the chicken. Put the chicken in a large zip-top plastic bag and pour in the marinade. Massage the marinade all over the chicken, then squeeze as much air out of the bag as possible and seal. Place it on a baking sheet with the chicken breast-side down and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.

3. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a 4-inch-deep roasting pan with parchment paper.

4. Remove the chicken from the marinade, letting any excess drip off (discard the bag). Place the chicken in the prepared roasting pan and roast on the bottom rack for 40 to 45 minutes, until the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°F on an instant-read thermometer. Use a turkey baster or large spoon to baste the chicken with the rendered juices in the pan.

5. Set the oven to broil but keep the chicken on the bottom rack (putting the parchment paper closer to the broiler could cause it to catch fire). Broil for 4 to 5 minutes, until the skin is golden brown and crispy.

6. Transfer the chicken to a grooved cutting board to catch any juices and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes before carving and serving.

Nutrition Facts
  • 602 calories

  • 46g fat

  • 5g carbs

  • 40g protein

  • 1g sugars

Powered By

Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

Made it? Rate it!

purewow author

Our editorial team works with a variety of writers and experts across all fields to produce thoroughly researched stories that resonate with you. Our mission is to be that...