Brazilian Barbecue Series – Piri-Piri Chicken with Chickpea Salad

Brazilian Barbecue Series – Piri-Piri Chicken with Chickpea Salad

I am a big fan of Portuguese cuisine which offers many beautiful seafood dishes and stews flavoured with extra-virgin olive oil and herbs. The Portuguese dried cod bake with vegetables is my favourite dish of all times; I think I could eat that every day! If you have a sweet tooth you have to try the Portuguese fluffy cakes, egg-based custards that melt in your mouth and other desserts that are to die for.

Piri-Piri or Peri-Peri chicken is a Portuguese dish in which the chicken is essentially marinated with garlic, ginger, olive oil, lemon juice and chilli.  Even though Portuguese flavours are one of our main influences, for some reason that I don’t know why, in Brazil this dish is not very well known. In fact, the way we barbecue chicken in Brazil is usually with small pieces of chicken threaded onto the metal skewer and seasoned with salt only or wrapped with bacon.

I tried this Peri-Peri recipe before in the oven and it was super delicious, but after tasting the barbecued version I will not look back again. To date, it is the best barbecued chicken I’ve ever had. This is a classic example that simple flavours are the best. The chicken is a great match with this super light and healthy chickpea salad. For dessert, I recommend again my barbecued pineapple with vanilla ice-cream. Everyone here in my house is a bit addicted to this dish, now everytime there is a barbecue at home we have to make it.

More music? Yes, how about ‘Samba de Verão’ (Summer Samba) interpreted by Caetano Veloso, perfect song to enjoy the lazyness that comes after the barbecue meal:

Samba de Verão – Caetano Veloso




1 whole chicken (about 2kg), butterflied

2 tsp black peppercorns, whole

6 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

6 cm piece ginger, roughly chopped

1 tbs rock salt

1 tbs sweet paprika

1/2 cup (125ml) lemon juice

1/2 cup (125ml) extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup parsley, finely chopped

1 tbs chilli flakes

Chickpea Salad

2 cups (350g) cooked chickpeas

1 large cucumber, chopped

2 x 200g grape (or cherry) tomatoes, halved

1 cup parsley, finely chopped

1/2 head iceberg lettuce, finely shredded

1 small spanish onion, finely choped


1 small clove garlic, crushed

2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

3 tbs low fat yoghurt

2 tbs lemon juice

Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste

You need to start this dish one day ahead


1. Start the day before. For the marinade, pound peppercorns until they are very fine. Add garlic, ginger and salt and pound to a paste. Alternatively you can process all these ingredients. Then, stir in paprika, lemon juice, oil, parsley and chilli flakes. Place the butterflied chicken in a large plastic bag, pour in the marinade, seal the bag and massage the chicken with the marinade. Place in a bowl and refrigerate overnight.

2. Pre-heat your charcoal barbecue. Drain off excess marinade from the chicken and place skin up into the barbie for about 45 minutes. Turn and barbecue for a further 45 minutes. Times will vary depending on your barbecue and chicken size. To test, pierce the thickest part of the chicken with a skewer if the juices run clear than the chicken is cooked through.

3. For the salad, toss all vegetables in a large bowl. In a small bowl whisk all the dressing ingredients. Stir in the dressing just before serving the salad.

Serves: 4-6



Receita em Português

Frango Peri-Peri



1 frango inteiro (cerca de 2 kg), cortado à borboleta

2 colher de chá de pimenta do reino em grãos

6 dentes de alho picados

1 pedaço de gengibre de 6 cm, picado

1 colher de sopa de sal grosso

1 colher de sopa páprica doce

1/2 xícara ( 125ml ) de suco de limão

1/2 xícara ( 125ml ) de azeite de oliva extra-virgem

1 xícara de salsinha bem picadinha

1 colher de sopa de pimenta calabresa

Salada de Grão de bico: 

2 xícaras ( 350g ) grão de bico cozido

1 pepino japonês, picado

2 x 200g de tomate cereja, cortados ao meio

1 xícara de salsinha bem picadinha

1/2 cabeça de alface, cortada em tiras bem fininhas

1 cebola roxa pequena, bem picadinha


1 dente de alho pequeno, moído

2 colheres de sopa de azeite de oliva extra- virgem

3 colheres de sopa de iogurte desnatado

2 colheres de sopa de suco de limão

Sal e pimenta moída na hora , a gosto

Você deve começar este prato um dia antes

Modo de Preparo 

1. Comece o dia anterior. Para o marinado , moa a pimenta em um socador. Adicione o alho , o gengibre e sal e moa até obter uma pasta. Alternativamente, você pode moer todos esses ingredientes no processador. Em seguida, misture a páprica, o suco de limão, azeite, salsa e pimenta em flocos. Coloque o frango em um saco de plástico grande, despeje o marinado, massageie bem o frango e feche bem o saco . Deixe na geladeira até o outro dia.

2. Prepare sua churrasqueira a carvão . Escorra o excesso de marinado do frango e coloque na grelha com a pele para cima por cerca de 45 minutos. Vire e asse por mais 45 minutos. O tempo pode vai variar dependendo do fogo, do tipo da churrasqueira e tamanho de frango. Para testar, perfure a parte mais grossa da carne com um palito. Se o caldo sair claro, o frango está pronto.

3. Para a salada, misture todos os legumes em uma tigela grande. Em uma tigela pequena misture todos os ingredientes do molho. Junte o molho na hora de servir a salada.

Serve: 6-8

  • Ritu ahuja

    Super yummy barbecue series. Delicious piri piri chicken and awesome salad 🙂

    • GeorginaRibas

      Thanks Ritu and keep coming back 🙂

  • Olivia @ Olivia’s Cuisine

    Oh my… You just got me all drooling over this picture. This chicken looks amazing. I’m just a little mad at you because I can’t barbecue right now (with the snow and all). lol 😉 Pinning!

    Funny thing: I also have a similar chickpea salad coming to my blog soon.

    • GeorginaRibas

      Hi Olivia, thanks! Soon you are going to be enjoying summer and I will be freezing here in the Southern Hemisphere. But luckily there is no snow here in Tasmania so we can still enjoy a barbecue in winter (when is not too windy!). Looking forward to seeing your delicious salad.

  • anupama (MGGK)

    I bow down, everything you make is AMAZING! So amazing! And this Peri peri with awesome chickpea salad is just sounds DELISH!

    • GeorginaRibas

      Oh dear Anupama thanks so much, it’s a pleasure to hear compliments from an experienced blogger like you!

  • Shoshanna Lee

    Drooling right now! Barbecued chicken in any form is always welcomed and when the shot is like this, I just can’t wait to dig in 🙂

    • GeorginaRibas

      Thanks dear, I agree barbecued chicken is something quite special. Cheers!

  • Mira L

    I just discovered your blog, but love it! There are so many recipes I would live to try! These barbecue series are fun and everything is delicious!

    • GeorginaRibas

      Hi Mira, thanks so much I am glad you stopped by and please keep coming back to have a look at the recipes.

  • Lily Lau

    These recipes look tremendously delicious, but also I’m sure they taste even better if they’re eaten in Brazil! Just imagine that Brazilian barbecue in Rio, or even in one of these places… 🙂

    • GeorginaRibas

      Thanks a lot Lily for the comments and for sharing this beautiful article. I agree they can taste even better in Rio, that city is indeed marvelous! Have you ever had the chance to go to Rio? Please come back to enjoy more recipes Brazil has to offer! 😉

  • Joana Oliveira

    Like all Portuguese, i just love piri-piri chicken. Can´t wait to try your chickpea salad with it, sound amazing! 😀
    These recipes+song made me dream about summer barbecues by the beach (winter days here in Europe…) listening to Caetano and drinking caipirinhas…

    • GeorginaRibas

      Awesome Joana, I have a thing for Portuguese food – it’s in my soul. You could still eat some cosy food while listening to Caetano and drinking caipirinhas to make you feel warmer over there. 😉

  • Olivia Ribas

    Woah, now this is making me
    hungry right now. This dish looks amazing, friend! I will definitely have to try this recipe! Pinned!

    • GeorginaRibas

      Thanks Olivia, please let me know the results when you get a chance to try! 🙂

  • Analida Vial-Braeger

    Georgina, this sounds amazing!!! I am always looking for new chicken recipes as well as salad recipes. This looks great. I need to try it this summer.

    • GeorginaRibas

      That’s awesome Analida, happy to hear you like my BBQ chicken. Please let me know how it tasted once you have a chance to try. 😉

  • Carol Ribeiro

    Oh my God!!!

    • GeorginaRibas

      Thanks Carol, happy to know you like my recipe!

  • JMD

    Hi!…..I am having the hardest time finding rock salt!!! Can i use Himalayan salt? The only rock salt I can find is the one for ice cream makers….is that the same thing?