Piri Piri Spatchcock Chicken

Piri Piri Spatchcock Chicken

Piri Piri Spatchcock Chicken


Perfect crispy spicy chicken for your oven or barbecue!

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If you haven’t tried spatchcock chicken you are missing out. This Piri Piri Chicken is so good and so easy! Perfect for roasting in the oven or grilling on the barbecue. Spicy fragrant marinade packed full of delicious ingredients; including chilli, pepper, spring onion and garlic. The marinade doubles up as a quick piri piri sauce for dunking that crispy juicy chicken in! Spicy food lovers this one is for you!

This recipe is my quick and easy piri piri chicken. No need to roast the peppers and chillies beforehand! It’s so easy, all you need to do is blend together all the ingredients, coat the chicken and leave to marinade for at least 12 hours. For the best and most flavourful results, I like to marinade for 2 days about 40 hours. The longer you marinate the more flavourful the result and the juicier the meat will be. No one likes dry tasteless chicken – am I right? If you are marinating for long periods of time ensure you are using fresh chicken and it is being stored in a cold fridge.

This Piri Piri Spatchcock Chicken is perfect for a weekend barbecue lunch or a quick and easy one pan dinner. Serve it with my yummy Garlic Yogurt Sauce for a refreshing and creamy touch to the fiery heat of the chicken!

piri piri spatchcock chicken

Making a Marinade

Making a marinade is super easy. It takes a little more preparation and effort than just throwing your chicken in the oven with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, but it is well worth the effort! Chicken is quite a bland meat and marinades for me are essential when cooking chicken. Even when I am super tired and have limited time I will always marinate my chicken in some kind of basic seasoning or marinade for at least 1 hour.

Any basic marinade should include about 2 parts oil to 1 part vinegar or citrus juice. Then I always add onion, garlic, chilli and my desired dried seasoning and herbs and fresh herbs if using. The measurements of the seasonings and fresh ingredients don’t really matter, just add each ingredient to your taste. Just be careful not to use too much salt.

Some marinades I leave chunky like my Spicy Cayenne, Garlic and Lemon Roast Chicken. For that marinade I do not use the blender and simply mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. For this kind of marinade we will be blending all the ingredients into a smooth and spicy mix.

What Do I need?

Piri Piri Marinade –

  • All you need for this marinade is red peppers, mixed chillies to your taste, red onion, spring onion, garlic, lemon or lime juice, vinegar and olive oil.
  • After blending all the above ingredients then add your dried seasonings – paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, mixed herbs, salt, all purpose and chicken seasoning.
  • You will also need a good blender to blend together the condiments and fresh ingredients for a super silky smooth sauce! My go to blender is the 3 in 1 food processor and blender from Ninja. Its affordable and produces brilliant results.

When your marinated chicken is ready for cooking, remove any excess marinade from the chicken before placing on the tray. You will see you have lots of lovely marinade leftover. We dont like waste so we are going to turn this into a piri piri sauce that can be used as a dip, sauce or frozen for future use! To make the sauce all you need to do is pour the sauce into a small saucepan and heat for at least 15 minutes. See recipe card below for full recipe.

Roasting your Piri Piri Chicken

  • To roast the chicken you will need a nice large baking tray so the chicken has space to lie flat.
  • I like to line the baking tray with baking paper. This makes clean up easier and helps retain some of the juices from the chicken without burning.
  • You will need a good pair of kitchen scissors to spatchcock your chicken.
  • I have cooked this chicken in the oven but it is also great on the BBQ if you have one.
  • If cooking on the BBQ be sure to use a meat thermometer. I use this therm pro one.
piri piri spatchcock chicken

How do I Spatchcock a Chicken?

It is very easy and pretty quick to spatchcock a chicken. You don’t need to be an expert, butcher or professional chef. Don’t be intimidated, just grab a sharp pair of kitchen or poultry scissors and you will be good to go. Follow the easy steps below and you are set!

  1. Wash and tidy your chicken. I cut the wing tips and bum off the chicken and save these for stock or throw away if not using.
  2. Dry your chicken with kitchen roll and remove any remaining feathers (ewww!)
  3. Lay the chicken on its breast and grab your kitchen scissors.
  4. From the bottom of the chicken cut along the left side of the back bone to the top. Then from the bottom again cut along the right side of the back bone to the top.
  5. Remove the back bone and flip the chicken over. Using both palms press down firmly on the breast bone until you hear and feel the breast bone snap.
  6. Your chicken should now be laying flat and is ready for marinade!

Serving Suggestions –

This Piri Piri Spatchcock Chicken is good with so many things. I love it with some freshly cooked White Rice, salad or even homemade fries!

Don’t forget to try this Piri Piri Spatchcock Chicken with my quick and easy Garlic Yogurt Sauce! All you need is yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon or lime juice, fresh garlic, fresh parsley, fresh chives, onion powder, garlic powder and white pepper. Simply mince the garlic, finely chop the fresh herbs and whisk to combine well with rest of the ingredients to your taste. Follow my recipe here!

Got some leftover rice in the fridge? Why not make a quick piri piri rice using the piri piri sauce and roasted peppers and onions from the chicken. In a wok or frying pan use 2 teaspoons of piri piri sauce and vegetables of your choice, add rice and mix well until combined and warmed through! Let me know what you think in the comments!

Piri Piri Spatchcock Chicken

Spicy fragrant roasted piri piri chicken!
Servings 6 people
Prep Time 2 days
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 days 1 hour


  • Oven or barbecue
  • Baking tray
  • Baking paper
  • Kitchen scissors
  • Large bowl
  • Small saucepan with lid
  • Tongs
  • Silicone spatula
  • Meat thermometer


Roast Piri Piri Chicken

  • 1 organic/free range whole chicken
  • 3 pointed sweet peppers
  • 1 large red onion

Piri Piri Marinade

  • 1 large red pepper
  • 1 orange or yellow pepper
  • 1 scotch bonnet
  • 4 finger chillies
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 red onion
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar red wine works too
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 juice of one lime or lemon
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp all purpose seasoning
  • 1 tsp chicken seasoning


Piri Piri Marinade

  • Wash, trim and prepare your spatchcock chicken. Full directions above.
    spatchcock chicken
  • Wash and cut all your marinade vegetables and blend until smooth. Add to a bowl and add all of the dry seasonings and mix well.
    piri piri marinade ingredients
  • Dry your chicken with kitchen roll and wearing gloves place the chicken in the marinade bowl and distribute the marinade all over the chicken. Put in the fridge and leave to marinate for at least 5 hours. I marinate for at least 24 hours.

Cooking the Chicken

  • Remove the chicken from the fridge at least 15 minutes before cooking. Pre heat your oven to 180 c degrees. 
  • Wash the pointed sweet peppers and slice lengthways and then in half. Slice 1 red onion and set aside. 
    sliced peppers and red onion
  • Place the chicken on a baking tray lined with baking paper breast side up and ensure chicken is laying flat.
  • Roast in the oven for 30 minutes before going to check. Baste the chicken in a little of the marinade or sauce if already made and add the sliced peppers and onions around the chicken and put back in the oven for another 20-30 minutes. Set a timer and check after 20 minutes.
    piri piri spatchcock chicken

Piri Piri Sauce

  • In the meantime pour the rest of the marinade into a small saucepan add 4 tablespoons water, turn the heat to high and allow to come to the boil. 
  • Once boiling stir turn down to medium and leave to simmer until fragrant and colour has changed and oil has separated. Piri Piri sauce is done!
  • Take your chicken out of the oven. If unsure use a thermometer to taste the temperature. Internal temperature should be 165°F/ 75°C. Leave to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Author: Daniel Devereux
Cost: £5-10
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Fusion
Keyword: Chicken, Quick & Easy, Roast, Spicy

Did you make this Piri Piri Chicken?

Got any questions? Ask away! I’m here to help! If you loved this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment and rating below! Let me know how it turned out for you and share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at @chilliandlife and hashtag it #chilliandlife ! I’ll be sure to share it!


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