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Portuguese Piri-Piri Chicken

How to order Piri-Piri Chicken in Portugal

a close up of piri piri

Experience the mouthwatering delight of Portuguese Piri-Piri Chicken, known as “Frango Assado com Piri-Piri.” This delectable dish can be easily savored in Portugal, whether you choose to purchase it from a local supermarket or indulge in the authentic flavors at a Portuguese Grill House, also known as a Churrascaria. One of the remarkable aspects of this culinary gem is its affordability, with prices ranging from 7€ for a takeaway option in the supermarket to approximately 25€ per person in a restaurant setting.

When perusing the menu at a supermarket or restaurant, you will come across the term “Frango Assado” which translates to “Roasted Chicken.” Additionally, the attentive waitstaff will kindly inquire if you would like to accompany your meal with a sauce, referred to as “molho” in Portuguese. This delectable sauce combines the fiery Piri-Piri chili pepper with a blend of other aromatic spices, enhancing the overall taste sensation of the dish.

What does Piri-Piri mean?

Discover the intriguing origins of Piri-Piri, a fiery hot sauce crafted from vibrant red chili peppers. While its association with the renowned Portuguese chicken at Nando’s has propelled its popularity, this captivating spice actually hails from Southern Africa.

In Portugal, you can readily procure Piri-Piri in the form of sauces or powders, both available at affordable prices. Supermarkets offer this culinary delight at a range of prices, typically spanning from 0,59€ to 2,99€ per unit.

The term Piri-Piri derives from the Swahili language, which was the original language spoken in Mozambique, a former Portuguese colony. This petite yet potent chili pepper is alternatively referred to as Peri-Peri or African devil, encapsulating its fiery nature and adding to its mystique.

For more intriguing information about Portugal, consider exploring our guide on the Best Time to Visit Portugal.

Is Piri-Piri healthy?

Indulging in Piri-Piri can be a healthy choice, although it’s important to be mindful of certain considerations. The spice itself boasts several potential health benefits. However, it’s worth noting that the commercially available Piri-Piri sauce found in markets often contains a high sodium content.

The natural properties of Piri-Piri spice can contribute positively to your well-being. It contains capsaicin, a compound found in chili peppers, which has been associated with various health advantages. Capsaicin may aid in boosting metabolism, promoting weight loss, and providing relief from pain and inflammation.

However, when opting for Piri-Piri sauces available in the market, it’s crucial to be aware of their sodium levels. Excessive sodium consumption can have adverse effects on cardiovascular health and overall well-being. Therefore, it is advisable to consume Piri-Piri sauce in moderation and consider homemade alternatives or low-sodium options whenever possible.

By being mindful of the sodium content and incorporating Piri-Piri spice sensibly into your culinary endeavors, you can savor its flavor while making healthier choices for your overall well-being.

Check out these popular recipes:

How many calories Peri-Peri chicken have?

A single serving of Peri-Peri chicken typically contains approximately 1,146 calories.

Read more: Best Things to Eat in Portugal?

Why is Portuguese Chicken different from other dishes?

two women enjoy a food tour

Portuguese Chicken stands out from other dishes due to its unique characteristics and rich history. One notable distinction is the use of young chickens, typically aged between 3 to 4 months, which results in tender and flavorful meat. Another defining feature is that Portuguese Chicken is traditionally prepared as a whole chicken and grilled to perfection.

The roots of Peri-Peri Chicken can be traced back to Restaurant Ramires, located in the charming town of Guia along the Algarve coast. This establishment holds the honor of being the first restaurant to introduce this delectable dish. Over time, Guia has blossomed into a culinary hub, boasting a multitude of restaurants that proudly serve Peri-Peri Chicken. In celebration of this beloved dish, the town hosts the annual Piri-Piri Chicken Festival, known as Festa do Frango da Guia, typically held in early August.

The preferred method of cooking Portuguese Chicken involves grilling it over charcoal, imparting a distinct smoky flavor. The chicken is marinated a day in advance, allowing the flavors to penetrate the meat thoroughly. The result is a succulent and juicy chicken with a delightful crispy skin. To elevate the taste experience, a generous drizzle of hot sauce accompanies the dish, adding a spicy kick to tantalize the taste buds.

With its youthful chicken, grilling technique, and flavorful marinade, Portuguese Chicken delivers a unique culinary experience that has captivated the palates of locals and visitors alike.

Read more: Eat like a local in Portugal.

What is Peri-Peri chicken traditionally served?

Traditionally, Peri-Peri chicken is accompanied by a delectable array of side dishes that enhance the overall dining experience. The classic serving of Peri-Peri chicken includes a generous portion of crispy chips, fluffy white rice, and a refreshing salad.

The flavorful combination of Peri-Peri chicken with chips creates a delightful contrast in textures, as the succulent meat pairs harmoniously with the crispy and golden-brown fries. The white rice serves as a neutral and satisfying base, allowing the vibrant flavors of the chicken and accompanying sauces to shine. Additionally, the inclusion of a fresh salad adds a refreshing element to the meal, providing a crisp and vibrant counterpart to the savory chicken.

This traditional ensemble of sides beautifully complements the spicy and savory flavors of Peri-Peri chicken, creating a well-rounded and satisfying dining experience for those seeking a taste of Portuguese culinary tradition.

Is Piri-Piri chicken gluten-free?

Indeed, Piri-Piri chicken is a gluten-free dish.

How to cook Piri-Piri chicken?

Here you have our Peri-Peri chicken recipe.


1 chicken, cut in the middle
1/8 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of chili paste
1/8 cup of white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of sweet paprika
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons of Piri-Piri sauce

1. Combine all the ingredients without the chicken in a large bowl.
a close up of piri piri2. Add the chicken, and mix it well in the sauce.
3. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 24 hours, turning the chicken occasionally.
4. Keep the marinade when you remove the chicken and place the chicken skin side down on a grill (barbecue).
5. Turn and brush the chicken with the marinade and let it cook for 30 to 40 minutes or until well browned.

Where can you taste Piri-Piri chicken in Lisbon?

To savor the authentic flavors of Portuguese Piri-Piri chicken in Lisbon, look no further than the renowned restaurant “A Valenciana.” Widely regarded as the best establishment in the city for this delectable dish, A Valenciana ensures that their preparation captures the essence of perfection. When expertly executed, as it consistently is at this esteemed restaurant, expect to indulge in chicken that is moist and tender on the inside, while boasting a delightful crispy skin. The dining experience at A Valenciana is truly exceptional, offering a taste sensation that will leave you captivated and craving for more.

Read more: How can I get to Portugal?

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