• Africola's Duncan Welgemoed at your service (SBS Food)Source: SBS Food

This piri-piri chicken would feature in the last supper of Duncan Welgemoed, head chef at Bistro Dom in Adelaide, and it is as delicious as it is easy to prepare, simply on the barbecue. Those who like their food with a bit of a kick will enjoy the heat brought by the piri-piri sauce, a popular chilli sauce originating from Portugal, in which the chicken is marinated and cooked.






Skill level

Average: 2.6 (105 votes)


  • 1 whole chicken (about 1 kg/2lb 3oz), spatchcocked 
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the piri-piri sauce

  • 6-12 fresh red chillies, depending on how hot you want it
  • 1 tbsp garlic, blanched and chopped
  • 1 tsp salt flakes
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tbsp paprika
  • 100 ml olive oil 
  • 50 ml red wine vinegar
  • 10 bay leaves

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Cooling time 10 minutes

Marinating time 1 hour

To make the piri-piri sauce, preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the chillies and bay leaves on a roasting tray and roast for 10 minutes.

Cool and roughly chop the chillies and bay leaves. Place the chillies, bay leaves, garlic, salt, oregano, paprika, olive oil and vinegar in a saucepan, and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Allow the mixture to cool, then blend it to a purée in a jug blender or food processor. Store in a lidded container at room temperature; it will keep for about a month. Shake before using.

Place the spatchcocked chicken in a sealable plastic bag. Add half the piri-piri sauce, spreading it evenly over the chicken. Seal and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Light your barbecue.

Season the marinated chicken, and cook it on the grill for 10-15 minutes on each side, until golden brown.

Baste regularly with the remaining piri-piri sauce.

Serve with chips, bread rolls and salad.


Photography by Andrew Nowell