Chicken piri piri with salad

chickPORTUGAL is a country that hides its culinary delights – it doesn’t seem to shout about its cuisine in the same way as Spain, France or Italy.

But its signature dishes – piri piri and cataplana – are well worth tasting and trying to cook yourself by way of a little change.

This recipe for chicken piri piri with salad will give you all the flavours and colours of a Mediterranean meal (even although Portugal’s coastline is exclusively in the Atlantic).

This meal will serve four, and is more filling if served with plenty of fresh, chunky artesanal bread. To make it even more special, serve with a glass of Portugal’s very own vinho verde, which  is a lovely light, white wine of low alcohol content.


100 grams of black olives

150 grams of sun-dried tomatoes

150 grams of mozzarella (little pearls or larger balls, sliced)

2 cups of rocket leaves

Juice of 1 lemon

2-3 tablespoons of olive oil



4 chicken breasts

6 red chillies, seeds removed, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

Juice and zest of 1 orange

1 teaspoon of paprika

1 teaspoon of oregano

1 teaspoon of salt


Prepare the salad in a large bowl by mixing together the dry ingredients, then adding the oil and lemon juice and mixing by hand to ensure every component is coated. Set aside in the fridge.

Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl. Add the chicken breasts and make sure each one is coated in the vibrant liquid.

Cover the bowl with cling film and leave for at least an hour at room temperature. You can also leave the chicken in its marinade overnight in the fridge if you wish. If you do, make sure not to prepare the salad until the next day. After you remove the chicken from the fridge, allow it to come to room temperature before cooking.

Pre-heat your oven to 180 C or Gas Mark 4. Place the chicken breasts on a baking tray and cook for 25 minutes, or until the middle of the meat is fully cooked. To make sure, just slice into the chicken with a sharp knife to check it looks the way it should do – white, not pink.

When cooked, remove the tray from the oven. Lift out the chicken and allow it to sit on a chopping board for 5 minutes. Return the tray, which should contain some residual juices to the oven to keep warm.

While the chicken rests, divide the salad among four plates and then place the chicken on top. Pour the remaining warm juice in the baking tray over the chicken.

Desfrutar da sua refeição (enjoy your meal)!



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