This Portuguese and African-inspired chicken takes a southern twist with the addition of peaches. Piri Piri chicken is a grilled or roasted dish that starts with a rich blended marinade of smoked paprika, red bell pepper, onion, ginger, and cilantro. The bird's eye chili brings an electric stroke of heat to this chicken for a spicy bite. The recipe calls for a cast-iron skillet, but if you have access to a grill, use it for cooking the chicken. —Briana Riddock
Test Kitchen Notes
If you have a hard time finding African bird's eye chilis, 1 to 2 habanero peppers or 6 to 8 Thai chili peppers will be suitable substitutions. —The Editors
1 hour 10 minutes
6 to 8
(3 to 4 lb) whole chicken, cleaned, back removed (butterfly/spatchcock)
Remove internal parts from the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Place chicken breast-side down on a clean cutting board. Use kitchen shears to remove the backbone of the chicken by cutting down the sides until the chicken opens. Discard the back and flip the chicken again. Apply pressure to the breasts until you hear a pop, this allows the chicken to lay flat. Season chicken with 3 to 4 teaspoons of Kosher salt depending on the size of the chicken. (About 1 teaspoon Kosher salt per pound.)
Blend together bird’s eye chilis, garlic, 2 peaches, red bell pepper, onion, ginger, smoked paprika, ground black pepper, cilantro, brown sugar blended oil, lime juice, and 2 teaspoons salt. Add water as needed to loosen marinade to allow for better blending. (Yields about 4 cups of marinade.)
Heat 2 tablespoons blended oil in a large cast-iron skillet to medium-high heat. Remove chicken from the bowl and shake off excess marinade (discard marinade after use). Place skin side down in the skillet and sear for 5 minutes. Flip and sear for another 5 minutes. Add remaining peaches around the chicken and roast uncovered for about 45 to 55 minutes. Halfway through cooking, baste the chicken with some of the remaining marinade. Check chicken for doneness by the juices running clear.
Cut chicken into pieces and finish with a sprinkle of paprika. Use the additional marinade as a finishing and dipping sauce.