Quick Homemade Piri-Piri Chicken {From Real Food Family Cook Off}

Piri-Piri Chicken is one of my favourite meals of all time. It's simple, comforting and completely delicious. As my dad is Portuguese, I have been eating mild Piri-Piri Chicken since I was little. This was the dish I made on the first heat of Real Food Family Cook Off in the 'me time meals' round.

Piri Piri Chicken.jpg

Piri-Piri sauce is so easy to make from scratch and far tastier than bottled stuff. It's spicy without knocking you out, and it has flavours of garlic, lemon and red pepper. You just literally throw everything in the pan, let it simmer for a while, then blitz it in a food processor. Vary the number of chillies in the sauce depending on how hot you like it.

Traditionally, Piri-Piri sauce is served with BBQ chicken. This recipe is a quick version of Piri-Piri Chicken, so I have used pounded chicken breasts with a garlic and lime marinade for quickness. Piri-Piri sauce goes well with roast chicken, griddled pork loin or chargrilled vegetables, so feel free to experiment!

If you have leftover Piri-Piri sauce, mix it with mayonnaise to make Piri-Piri mayonnaise or freeze it for another time.

Quick Homemade Piri Piri Chicken

  • Time: 10 mins hands on time + 25 mins cooking

  • Cost: £1.49 per serving*

  • Calories: 306 per serving*

  • Serves: 4

*just chicken and sauce


For the piri piri sauce:

  • 50ml sunflower oil

  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and roughly chopped

  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped

  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped

  • 1 - 3 fresh red birds eye chillies deseeded and roughly chopped

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • Tablespoon white wine vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 50 ml water

  • Good pinch of salt (or to taste)

For the chicken:

  • 4 chicken breasts

  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed

  • Juice of 1 lime

  • Salt & pepper

  • Oil for frying


  1. To make the piri-piri sauce, heat the sunflower oil in a saucepan and add the onion. Cook the onion for a few minutes until it's soft, then add the garlic, red pepper, chillies, lemon juice, vinegar, oregano, paprika and water. Add salt to taste and simmer gently for around 25 minutes with a lid on until everything is fairly mushy. Blitz in a food processor until smooth. Serve warm or cold.

  2. To make the chicken, place each chicken breast between cling film and bash with a mallet (or similar) evenly until it has doubled in area. Marinade the chicken with garlic, lime and salt and pepper to taste. Brush a griddle pan with oil and get it nice and hot. Fry the chicken for 4-5 minutes on each side until cooked through. Be careful not to overcook the chicken as it will become dry.

  3. Serve the chicken topped with the piri-piri sauce and chunky chips and salad.