Piri piri chicken with slaw

By Chef Curtis Stone
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Piri piri is a Portuguese sauce that combines garlic, chiles, red wine vinegar, and oil that is very popular in Australia. While I like things spicy, the level of heat in this pureed sauce can be adjusted if you like; just use fewer Thai chiles for a milder ride. But do keep in mind that the accompanying slaw and flatbreads help to offset the heat. The slaw is also a great side dish for seafood and other meats.



For the chicken:

  • 6 large red Fresno chiles, coarsely chopped
  • 4 red Thai chiles, stemmed
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 455 grams boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2 to 3 pieces each
  • Bamboo skewers, soaked in water for at least 1 hour, or metal skewers

For the slaw:

  • 1/4 small head green cabbage, very thinly sliced (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 English (hothouse) cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 white onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Grilled flatbreads with garlic-rosemary Oil or 4 purchased naan


  1. To prepare the piri piri chicken, in a food processor, blend the chiles, garlic, vinegar, and salt until smooth. With the machine running, gradually add the oil.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the chicken with 2/3 cup of the piri piri mixture to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, and up to one day. Refrigerate the remaining piri piri sauce.
  3. Prepare a grill for high heat. Thread the chicken pieces onto skewers. Grill the skewers, turning frequently and basting with 1/3 cup of the remaining piri piri sauce, for about 12 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and charred in spots.
  4. Meanwhile, to make the slaw, in a large bowl, combine the cabbage, cucumber, onion, and mint. In a small bowl, whisk the lime zest and juice with the oil to blend. Toss the cabbage mixture with enough dressing to coat. Season to taste with salt.
  5. To serve, divide the chicken skewers, slaw, and flatbreads among four plates. Serve the remaining piri piri sauce alongside.


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