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Piri piri chicken with tomato and onion salad

You'll need

  • 6
  • baby chickens, spatchcocked
  • 4
  • cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Juice
  • of 1 lemon
  • ½ tbsp
  • dried oregano
  • 1 tsp
  • paprika
  • 3
  • red onions, quartered
  • Piri piri sauce
  • 6
  • dried birds-eye chillies (or 4 fresh chillies)
  • 3
  • cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2
  • fresh bay leaves, torn
  • 3 tbsp
  • olive oil
  • Juice
  • of 1 lemon
  • ½ tbsp
  • paprika
  • ½
  • wine glass ruby Port
  • Tomato and onion salad
  • 12
  • small Roma tomatoes, halved
  • 3
  • red onions, thinly sliced
  • 3
  • Lebanese cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup
  • finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 cup
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice
  • of 3 lemons, or to taste


  • 01
  • Slash chickens with a sharp knife then place in a large bowl with the garlic, lemon juice, oregano, paprika and sea salt. Rub marinade mixture into chickens then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • 02
  • To make piri piri sauce, place chillies, garlic and bay leaves in a food processor and blend to a rough paste. Transfer to a frying pan over medium heat with the oil and cook until the garlic softens. Season generously with sea salt, add lemon juice, paprika and Port and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. To make tomato salad, mix tomato, onion, cucumber and parsley in a bowl. Add olive oil and lemon juice, season generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix to combine.
  • 03
  • Preheat barbecue to medium. Grill chicken, skin-side down, for 30-40 minutes, basting regularly with the piri piri sauce, until charred and cooked through. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, add onions. Transfer grilled chickens and onions to a serving platter and serve drizzled with extra piri piri sauce and the tomato salad.

Wine to try
2009 Zonte’s Footstep Scarlett Ladybird Rosé, Fleurieu Peninsula, A$17
Piri piri is the Portuguese version of tomato sauce, and is at its best when used to generously coat a spatchcocked chicken. And, if the spicy kick of the piri piri isn’t enough, the chicken has been coated in paprika for good measure. The wine to match this dish should be well flavoured and yet not bone-dry, as a hint of sweetness works well with strong spices. The Zonte’s Footstep Scarlett Ladybird Rosé is bold in both colour and flavour with a delightful Campari-like tang, which adds a hint of bitterness to balance the wine’s natural fruit sweetness. It’s this slight phenolic grip that helps the match with the spiciness of the chicken and picks up nicely with the acid of the tomato and lemon juice in the accompanying salad.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

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