Piri-piri roast chicken

A spicy and different way to cook a roast chicken, this can be as hot as you like. Just increase the quantities of chilli and Tabasco sauce.


For the chicken

  • 2kg/4½lb whole chicken (preferably free-range or organic)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 150ml/5fl oz water, chicken stock or red wine

For the peri peri sauce

  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1-5 red chillies (as hot as you dare!)
  • 2cm/1in piece of ginger, grated
  • 50ml/2fl oz vegetable oil
  • 25ml/1 fl oz white or red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp Tabasco (again as hot as you dare!)
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 3 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp caster sugar (optional)
  • 1 lime, zest and juice

For the vegetables

  • 3 red onions
  • 500g/1lb 2oz baby new potatoes

For the salad

  • 1 lime, juice only
  • 1 tsp caster sugar (or a squidge of honey)
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 130g/4½oz crispy salad leaves


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Sit the chicken in a large roasting tin and season well with salt and pepper and a drizzle of oil. Place in the oven and cook for about an hour.

  2. For the peri peri sauce, peel and roughly chop the garlic, halve, deseed and finely chop the chillies and place both in a small bowl. Add the rest of the peri peri sauce ingredients and stir to combine.

  3. Remove the chicken from the oven and tip three-quarters of the peri peri sauce over the chicken and spread it all over with the back of a spoon. Peel and quarter the onions, leaving the roots intact, and toss them in around the chicken along with the potatoes. Season them with salt and pepper and then return to the oven to cook for the final 40-50 minutes. At the end of the cooking time the chicken will most likely look burnt, but worry not, this is the peri peri style.

  4. To check the chicken is cooked, pierce the thickest part of a thigh with the point of a sharp knife and the juices should run clear (without any pinkness). Once cooked, carefully lift the chicken from the roasting tin onto a plate and cover it loosely with foil so it can rest and become juicier. Using a slotted spoon remove the vegetables from the tin also, transferring them to a medium ovenproof dish. Then, put them back in the oven (with the oven now turned off) to keep warm.

  5. Carefully pour the oil out from the roasting tin, leaving the juice and sticky bits behind. Put it on a medium heat and add the remaining sauce and the water, stock or red wine. Allow to simmer for a few minutes, scraping up all the sticky bits from the bottom.

  6. Meanwhile, prepare the salad. Squeeze the lime juice into a mug or small bowl and add the sugar (or honey), extra virgin olive oil and a little salt and pepper. Give it a good whisk up. Tip the salad leaves into a large salad serving bowl, pour the dressing over and toss the leaves about.

  7. Returning to the chicken, pour any juices on the plate into the sauce before carving the meat. Arrange on serving plates with the roasted onions and potatoes. Serve with the dressed salad and the sauce in a small jug.

Piri-piri roast chicken

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