How to make piri piri chicken: Piri piri is a popular Portuguese sauce made with African bird’s eye chilies. It is a popular dish in both Portugal and parts of Africa with a spicy, sweet and salty flavor, perfect for both meats and fish.
Piri piri chicken thighs – 6 – 12
- 2 large red bell peppers, halved
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 8 dried bird’s eye chilies or serrano chilies, stemmed and seeded
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt, divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 12 bone in, skin on chicken thighs
- Position racks in the middle and upper thirds of the oven. Preheat broiler to high, Lightly coat a large rimmed baking sheet with oil.
- Place the bell peppers, onion and garlic (skin on) on the prepared pan. Broil on the top rack, turning often, until charred on all sides – about 8 minutes. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Heat oil and chilies in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until chilies start to darken in color – about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- Coarsely chop the bell peppers and onion, and peel the garlic. Transfer to a blender, add the chilies and oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, vinegar, 1 teaspoon of salt, oregano, paprika and pepper. Puree until smooth.
- Return the sauce to the pan and add bay leaves. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
- Pat chicken dry with paper towel. Place on the baking sheet, skin side up, sprinkle both sides with the remaining salt and generously brush with 1 1/2 cup of the sauce.
- Bake on the upper rack until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh, without touching bone, registers 165F – about 30 minutes. Turn the broiler to high and continue coking until the chicken begins to brown – about 2 minutes.
- Brush each thigh with another 1 tablespoon of sauce.
- Serve with additional sauce and charred lemon wedges (optional).