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Portuguese Piri-Piri Chicken

How to order Piri-Piri Chicken in Portugal

a close up of piri piriThe dish is called “Frango Assado com Piri-Piri.” You can buy in the supermarket or Portuguese Grill Houses (Churrascarias). That is a cheap dish — price from 5€ (take-way in the supermarket) to 25€ per person.

You can read on the menu “Frango Assado” in the supermarket or restaurants. And the waiter will ask you if you would like sauce (in Portuguese, “molho”). The sauce has Piri-Piri and other spices.

What does Piri-Piri mean?

It is a hot sauce made with red chili peppers. It’s become popular because of the Nando’s franchise and its famous Portuguese chicken. However, this spice came from Southern Africa.

In Portugal, you can buy this spice in sauce or powders. It has a low price: from 0,59€ to 2,99€ per unit in the supermarket.

Piri-Piri means “pepper pepper” in the Swahili language (the original language in Mozambique, Portuguese ex-colony). This small spicy chili pepper is known as Piri-Piri, Peri-Peri, or African devil.

Read more: Best Time to Visit Portugal.

Is Piri-Piri healthy?

The spice is right for your health. But the sauce in the market has a high level of sodium.

How many calories Peri-Peri chicken have?

One chicken has around 1,146 calories.

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Why is Portuguese Chicken different from other dishes?

two women enjoy a food tourBecause we use a chicken young of about 3 to 4 months old and it is grilled whole chicken. The first restaurant that served Peri-Peri Chicken was Restaurant Ramires in the small town of Guia on the Algarve coast.

Nowadays, this small city in Algarve has thousand of Restaurants serving this dish. For that reason, they created the annual Piri-Piri chicken festival (Festa do Frango da Guia), which usually takes place every year in early August. Preferably grilled on charcoal, the chicken is marinated one day before. It is juicy, crispy skin, and with a hot sauce.

Read more: Eat like a local in Portugal.

What is Peri-Peri chicken traditionally served?

Peri-Peri chicken is served with chips, white rice, and salad.

Is Piri-Piri chicken gluten-free?

Yes, it is gluten-free.

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?

The best restaurant in Lisbon to taste Portuguese chicken is “A Valenciana.” When correctly done, as it is here, the chicken will be moist inside with crispy skin. Wonderful!

Read more: How can I get to Portugal?

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