This piri piri chicken recipe is full of flavor. Make this spicy chicken recipe in your slow cooker or Instant Pot.
Updated 2020 with Instant Pot instructions
What Is Piri Piri?
Piri piri, also known as peri peri, is African bird’s eye chili. The variations in spelling come from the various pronunciations of the word in parts of Africa; ‘piri piri’ is the spelling in Portuguese. So is piri piri Portuguese or African? Both. It was originally produced in Mozambique by Portuguese explorers. Piri piri sauce is popular in both Portuguese & African cuisines. Ok confession time – I have not been to Portugal or Africa. This is my best try at piri piri. I make this frequently and it’s always a hit. This may not be a traditional piri piri but it’s still dang good if I must say so myself. Plus it’s another trifecta recipe – this one too is low-carb, paleo, and whole30.
All About The Sauce
As with a lot of my recipes, this one is all about the piri piri sauce. The sauce is light and healthy. It’s a lemon based sauce with some spicy spices. I’m telling you now that this recipe has some heat to it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. If you make this in the Instant Pot, please note the adjustments you need to make with the sauce measurements: add an additional 1/2 cup of low-sodium chicken broth. If you’re using your slow cooker you do not need to add the broth. I know it won’t look like there’s enough sauce when you start slow cooking because the chicken will not be fully submerged. Trust me, there’s enough sauce.
What Cut Of Chicken To Use
I made this piri piri chicken using a little over 2 pounds of chicken quarters. Like most of my recipes you can use pretty much any cut of chicken whether it’s quarters, legs, thighs, or breasts. Personally I think dark meat work best with this recipe. But that’s just me. White meat does work too. If you do choose to use white meat, lower the cooking time by an hour or more in the slow cooker and 2-3 minutes for the Instant Pot. This is so the chicken doesn’t overcook. When I use my electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot) and skinless chicken, I don’t sauté the meat first. I just add it in to the appliance raw. In general, I pretty much only sauté my chicken in my pressure cooker if it’s skin-on chicken.
Broil The Chicken Afterwards
Like crisp skin? If you’re using skin-on chicken, you will sauté the chicken beforehand if you’re using the Instant Pot. For the slow cooker, you will need to broil the chicken afterwards in order to have crisp skin. Remove the chicken from the slow cooker after it’s done cooking and place it on a foil lined baking sheet & then in the oven under the broiler it for 3-5 minutes. If you plan on taking the skin off your chicken or using boneless, skinless chicken, whether it be breasts or thighs, you don’t need to bother with this step.
Other chicken recipes you might enjoy:
What To Serve This With
I like to keep it low-carb, paleo, and whole30 so I serve piri piri chicken with cauliflower rice or mashed cauliflower and a simple salad. But really, sky is the limit! Rice and potatoes are great with this recipe as well.
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- 2 pounds chicken
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 1 lemon, sliced
- Handful fresh cilantro (for garnish)
- 1 tablespoon oil (for Instant Pot)
Piri Piri Sauce:
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon oil of your choice
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup of low-sodium chicken broth (Instant Pot only)
- Place sliced onion in the bottom of the slow cooker. Add chicken on top.
- In a small bowl, mix together piri piri sauce ingredients. Pour sauce over chicken. Top with lemon slices.
- Cook HIGH 2-3 hours or LOW 4-6.
- Top with fresh cilantro.
- Turn the pressure cooker to sauté. Once hot, add the oil and chicken skin-side down and sear, few minutes until browned. You might need to do this in batches depending on the cut of chicken you use. If you are using skinless chicken skip this step and add the chicken directly to the pressure cooker. Remove chicken from the pressure cooker and set aside.
- Add onion to the pot. You may need to add more oil. Cook 3-5 minutes or until onions are soft. Add chicken back to the Instant Pot on top of the onions.
- In a small bowl, mix together the piri piri sauce ingredients. Pour the sauce on top of the chicken. Top with lemon slices.
- Close lid and seal valve. Set high pressure for 10-20 minutes (depending on your cut of chicken). When done, quick release the pressure. Make sure internal temperature for the chicken is 165° Fahrenheit.
- Carefully remove the chicken. Top with fresh cilantro.
Instant Pot chicken breasts cook 10 minutes
Instant Pot chicken thighs cook 15 minutes
Instant Pot chicken quarters cook 20 minutes
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