Peri Peri Chicken on a Charcoal Grill

Ralph discovered this dish from watching a cooking video on a flight to Portugal.

In the video he saw, 16 chickens being grilled at once over fire between two big screens which the cooks kept flipping over – drenched in sweat but with big smiles. He made a mental note to try it at home, and it’s since been a regular item on our dinner menu. This chicken is a spicy alternative to regular grilled chicken, but won’t leave you gasping for a glass of milk.

Ralph also made this for family over an open fire during a summer vacation we spent together on Lake Simcoe in Lagoon City. I rarely see Ralph stressed while grilling, but on this occasion he seemed pretty uptight. Or maybe it was from battling the ravenous mosquitos.


  • 1 Whole chicken, flattened
  • Juice from 4-5 limes
  • Approx. 1/8 cup Peri Peri BBQ-rub (enough to cover chicken)


  1. Remove backbone from chicken.
  2. Score inside of breast bone cartilage so it will lay flat on grill (both sides from tail to neck). You may also have to dislocate the legs so they sit flat.
  3. Rub in lime juice and Peri Peri spice
  4. Let chicken marinade in fridge for at least six hours (or overnight).
  5. Heat up charcoal grill and lay chicken direct over the coals and cover with lid. Grill for 1-1.5 hours for a big chicken (until it reaches 180° F) while turning regularly and monitoring to ensure it doesn’t burn too much.


  1. Use disposable gloves when rubbing in chicken with lime juice and Peri Peri rub.
  2. Keep the marinade and add to chicken while grilling if it appears dry.
  3. Add a little mesquite to coals for an elevated flavour of yum.

This was made with Charred Baby Bok Choy as a side.

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