Sunday, September 09, 2012

Maria’s Piri-Piri Chicken, Very-Very Good!

If you have a family recipe like Maria’s, it ought to be shared and talked about. Maria is my kind and affable butcher lady in downtown TO. Kensington Market to be precise. If you are looking for the best personalized cuts in town, visit Kensington Meat Shop.

(Maria getting ready a leg of goat for me)

Maria loves food. Its obvious from the way she will explain to you about many traditional recipes she has grown up with. The Piri-Piri Chicken which she shared with me, among many other of her customers is one such family treasure.

Piri-Piri means “hot”. So if you are in for a little taste adventure, I’d say, try this recipe soon and get your butcher to cut and open up a whole chicken just like Maria did it for me.


Here is Maria’s recipe, handwritten by her for you! I of course measured everything and used it for her recipe.



Ingredients for Maria’s Piri-Piri Chicken are:

1 cup red wine, I used Merlot
I whole chicken, with skin, cleaned, scored and opened up to lay flat on the surface (about 1.25 kg is ideal)
4-5 fat cloves of garlic, minced
Handful of flat-leaf parsley, minced
2 tablespoons chilli flakes (you can add more, if you like it hotter)
Juice of one lime (Maria mentioned it later!)
Quarter cup olive oil
Freshly cracked black pepper

IMG_5826Start by taking a large baking pan, lay the chicken flat on it and add all the ingredients. As Maria suggests, use your hands to rub everything in the chicken. Since I was taking pictures, my husband helped me with the prep work.


I marinated my chicken overnight in the fridge, turning once.

The red wine lent a beautiful dark, rich color to the meat. I have a feeling if you use white or beer, your meat will continue to retain its reddish-pink color. So if you love to cook with red, use it.


After about at least 6-8 hours’ of marinating time, keep the chicken out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature.

Pre-heat oven to 350° F. Bake chicken face down for 15 minutes and then turn. I do face down first so that the chicken’s legs do not part in the heat and look obnoxious. A chicken should look dignified when served on the table!

Continue baking and basting (the chicken with the dripping marinade) for another 45-50 minutes or until done with some char on all sides. Make sure you turn it every 15 minutes of so.


It took me one hour and change to finish baking my chicken. Alternatively, you can also barbecue it outside on a good day.



I served Maria’s Piri-Piri Chicken with grilled vegetables and a fresh baguette. The result was awesome. I will make it hotter next time for the chilli lover in my life.



Debalina said...

Tat looks awesome Pree......will def give it a try very soon. I think if I use only chicken drumsticks instead of the whole chicken it will also yield good results. Wat do you think??

Moushumi - Rainbows and Cloudbursts said...

Oh this looks mouthwatering Pree! I have some chicken thighs in the freezer. Shall try this soon! :))

Pree Basu said...

@Debalina, of course it will work. Just ensure that you use chicken with skin.

Soma said...

Drunker chicken with spicy yummmy!

Hamaree Rasoi said...

P being such a sport to help you in kitchen...Darun lagche thang gulo....

puja saxena said...

Did you use lime? I can see in picture but mentioned in recipe.

puja saxena said...

Did you use lime? I can see in picture but mentioned in recipe.

Pree Basu said...

@Puja Saxena, did you read the post? ;-) There is juice of lime mentioned.

Indrani said...

Lovely recipe,very flavourful ingredients...thighs look so gorgeously yummy, is she an American?

Pree Basu said...

@Indrani, the chicken is Canadian. Maria is Canadian with Portuguese roots. Not sure who you wanted to know was American?

Piri-Piri or Peri-Peri is Portuguese for "hot".

Rima said...

Hi Preetanjali,
I made this last night and my god it was so good ! And we try a lot of quick marinade to bake/grill chicken recipes - but this was really amazing. Definitely though a good wine would make a difference since the taste of the wine gets so concentrated. Even my 2 year old got deliriously excited after tasting it and ate a LOT of it.
Thanks you and Maria.