Jamie Oliver’s 30 Minute Meals: Piri Piri Chicken recipe

Jamie Oliver's Piri Piri chicken, potatoes, salad and Portuguese tarts

This 30 Minute Meal has been on my to-cook list for ages, mostly for the Portuguese tarts. I remember seeing Jamie Oliver make them on TV and thinking that they looked incredible. All of the elements of this recipe are really simple (basic salad, basic potatoes, a quick orange caramel) but they go together perfectly and the little tarts are rustic, charming and delicious.

Although I’ve owned my griddle pan for something like ten years, until this recipe I’d never cooked chicken on it. Chicken thighs, especially ones with the skin-on, are pretty fatty (no complaints from me) but when cooked on a griddle the fat goes absolutely everywhere. Next time I’ll put some old newspaper on the floor as the clean up took ages. The chicken is really tasty though, with lovely crispy skin and meat falling off the bone, so all in all it was worth it.

I didn’t cook this meal in 30 minutes. I think most of the 30 Minute Meals aren’t achievable in 30 minutes the first time you cook them as there’s a lot of back and forth between the instructions and the cooking. I found that the tarts took a while to colour (longer than the 18 minutes specified in the recipe) so the chicken ended up being in the oven for at least another 10 minutes but thighs are a forgiving cut of meat. Ultimately, the dinner I ended up with was impressive and tasty so the timings don’t really bother me. I cooked this for two (not halving the ingredients) and had leftovers which reheated nicely and made a great lunch the next day.


Serves: 4


  • 4 large chicken thighs (skin on, bone in)
  • 2 peppers (red and yellow if possible)
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme


  • 1 medium potato
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • ½ a lemon
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • bunch fresh coriander
  • 50g feta cheese

Piri Piri Sauce

  • ½ red onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1-2 bird's-eye chillis (stalks removed)
  • 1 tbs sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tbs white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • bunch fresh basil (stalks included)


  • 100g bag rocket (pre-washed)
  • ½ lemon


  • olive oil
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper

Tarts (makes 6)

  • plain flour (for dusting)
  • 375g ready rolled puff pastry
  • ground cinnamon
  • 125g creme fraiche
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or paste
  • 5 tbs golden caster sugar
  • 1 orange


  1. You’ll need a blender, a muffin tin, a small saucepan, a griddle pan and a roasting tin that will snugly contain 4 large chicken thighs.
  2. Preheat your oven to 200°C (180°C fan) and put the griddle pan on a high heat.
  3. Chicken: Put 4 chicken thighs on a chopping board, skin side down, and use a knife to make some slashes in the meat. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper then place onto the griddle pan, skin side down. Cook until golden underneath and then turn.
  4. Tarts: Dust a surface with flour and unroll a 375g sheet of puff pastry onto it. Cut the pastry in half so you have two 20 x 20cm squares and put one in the fridge to use at a later date. Sprinkle over a few pinches of ground cinnamon, roll the pastry up as if it’s a Swiss roll, then cut it into 6 pieces. Place the pieces, swirl side facing up, into the muffin tin and use your thumbs to stretch and mould the pastry into the holes so they form a cup, or jam-tart-like shape, with a flat bottom and the pastry reaching the top of the muffin tin holes. Place the tin on the top shelf of the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes or until just starting to colour.
  5. Potatoes: Halve a potato and 2 sweet potatoes lengthways then put them into a microwaveable bowl along with ½ a lemon. Cover and cook on full power for 15 minutes.
  6. Chicken: Turn the chicken over so it’s sitting skin side down again.
  7. Tarts: Add 125g of creme fraiche to a bowl along with an egg, a teaspoon of vanilla paste or extract, a tablespoon of golden caster sugar and the zest of an orange. Mix well and set to one side.
  8. Piri piri sauce: Peel and roughly chop ½ a red onion and add to the blender along with 2 peeled cloves of garlic, 1-2 bird’s-eye chillies, a tablespoon of smoked paprika, the zest of a lemon, the juice from ½ a lemon, 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar, a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, a pinch of salt and pepper, a bunch of basil and a swig of water. Blitz until smooth.
  9. Chicken: Slice 2 peppers into long strips and add to the griddle pan. Turn the heat under the griddle pan down to medium and keep moving the peppers.
  10. Tarts: Remove the muffin tin from the oven and press the puffed up pastry back using a teaspoon to make room for the filling. Divide the creme fraiche mixture between the pastries and return to the top shelf of the oven for another 8 minutes.
  11. Chicken: Pour the Piri Piri sauce into the roasting tin and add the peppers and chicken (with the chicken sitting on top, skin side up). Scatter over 6 sprigs of thyme then put the tray on the middle shelf of the oven.
  12. Tarts: Place the small saucepan over a high heat and squeeze in the juice from the zested orange and 4 tablespoons of caster sugar to make a caramel. Stir well and take care as the caramel will get incredibly hot (don’t be tempted to taste or touch it).
  13. Potatoes: Dice a red chilli and most of a bunch of coriander, along with 50g feta, mixing them together.
  14. Chicken: Remove the tarts from the oven and move the chicken to the top shelf to cook for around 10 minutes, or until completely cooked through.
  15. Tarts: Pour the caramel over each tart (the tarts will be a little wobbly) and set to one side.
  16. Salad: Dress 100g of rocket in its bag with extra virgin olive oil, the juice from ½ a lemon and some salt and pepper. Tip into a bowl and take to the table.
  17. Potatoes: Check that the potatoes are cooked all the way through then use tongs to squeeze over the juice from the cooked lemon, watching out for any stray seeds. Add the coriander mixture to the potatoes, season with salt and pepper, mix well and top with some of the remaining coriander. Take to the table.
  18. Chicken: Remove the chicken from the oven, sprinkle over the remaining coriander leaves and take to the table.