Piri Piri Chicken Thighs with Cucumber and Red Onion Salad

Serves 2-3

Prep Time 20 minutes, plus 1 hour for marinating time

Cook Time 30 minutes


For the marinade

6 bone in, skin on, chicken thighs
Juice of ½ lemon
3 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons flaky sea salt

For the piri piri sauce

4 red chillies
2 bird’s eye chillies
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
8 cloves garlic
6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons dried oregano
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons caster sugar

For the cucumber salad

1 red onion, finely sliced
1 cucumber, cut in half lengthways, seeds removed and sliced 
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt



Piri piri chicken is named after the chillies used to make it, but they can be tricky to find; this recipe uses regular red chillies plus a couple of birds eye chillies, to ramp up the heat a little bit. If you like spice, just add more, or play around with different chilli varieties. In Portugal, where this dish originated, the most common accompaniments would be chips and a tomato and onion salad - definitely worth a try when tomatoes are in season.

Piri Piri 1.jpg

1. Mix together the lemon juice, garlic and salt. Spread this evenly over the chicken thighs and set aside to marinate for an hour.

Piri Piri Marinating 2.jpg

2. Blend all the piri piri sauce ingredients to a paste. Set aside half of the sauce for brushing the chicken once cooked.

Piri Piri Sauce 2.jpg

3. Make the cucumber salad by combining the salt, sugar, vinegar and olive oil and mixing well. Add the sliced cucumber and red onion and mix again. Set aside, stirring occasionally to make sure the sugar is dissolved and the vegetables well coated.

4. Light the Jupiter Outback BBQ gas burners and set the heat to low-medium.

5. Place the chicken thighs skin side down and cook, turning regularly for around 20 minutes. It’s important to cook the chicken thighs slowly to make sure they’re cooked all the way through and the skin is nice and crisp. An internal temperature probe should read 73C.

Piri Piri Grilling 2.jpg

6. When the thighs are nearly cooked, brush them with sauce and cook for a further 5-10 minutes, until looking caramelised and slightly charred in places.

7. Remove from the heat, and serve brushed with the reserved piri piri sauce and the salad.

About the recipe author

Helen Graves The Author

Helen Graves is an award-winning recipe, food and travel writer with a particular interest in barbecue. She writes freelance for many major food and drink publications and is editor of Pit, the UK's first independent magazine about live-fire cooking. Helen has created a series of exclusive recipes for Outback that focus on maximising flavour for the home cook  using lots of spices, fresh herbs and BBQ techniques.