Barbecued piri piri chicken

1 hour 10 minutes



  • 1.7kg chicken, preferably organic

Piri piri marinade

  • 1 tbsp of salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 red chillies, the long, thin variety
  • 5 bird's eye chillies
  • 1 1/2 tbsp of dried oregano
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tbsp of sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp of brown sugar
  • 100ml of oil
  • 225ml of red wine vinegar


First make the marinade. Crush the salt with the bay leaves in a pestle and mortar until you have something resembling a powder
Combine in a blender with the chillies, oregano, garlic, sweet paprika and sugar. Blend to combine. Add the vinegar and oil and blend again to create a marinade
Spatchcock the chicken by removing the backbone. To do this, place the bird breast-side down on a board with the tail towards you. Using a strong pair of scissors or some poultry shears, cut along each side of the backbone to remove it (this requires a little welly as you’re cutting through the ribs)
Turn the bird over and use the heel of your hand to push down on the breastbone so that it’s all one thickness. Alternatively, have your butcher do this for you
Use half the marinade on the chicken, rubbing all over to fully coat the skin. Set the other half aside in a clean bowl. Cover and refrigerate the chicken for a few hours to marinate then bring out of the fridge an hour before cooking
When ready to cook the chicken, prepare a barbecue for indirect cooking by having the coals offset to one side
Place the chicken on the grill away from the coals, breast-side up, and cook for 40 minutes. Regularly brush the chicken with the extra marinade then turn over and cook for 15 minutes more to crisp up the breast
Ensure the chicken is fully cooked before serving with a fresh salad