This piri piri sauce is one I revisit regularly, not only because it's easy to make at home, but because of the sweet smokiness it imparts to any grilled meat or fish. Here it's used to kick the traditional Sunday roast up a few levels! If you want to cut down on the cooking time, use chicken thighs instead of a whole chicken. And, of course, if you can find a good-quality piri piri sauce then you can use it in place of making your own.


Serves 6

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • A few thyme sprigs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 500 g small new potatoes, halved
  • 300 g baby carrots
  • 1 whole chicken (about 1.6–1.8 kg)
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • For the piri piri sauce
  • 1 small red onion, halved
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 red bird’s eye chillies
  • 50 ml red wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 50 ml olive oil, plus extra for brushing


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan). Mix the smoked paprika, garlic and thyme leaves in a bowl with the olive oil. Season well.
  2. Scatter the potatoes and baby carrots into a large roasting tin and sit the chicken on top. Rub the skin of the chicken with the paprika marinade. Roast for 1–1. hours, turning the vegetables occasionally, until the chicken is cooked and the potatoes are golden and tender. Allow the chicken to rest for at least 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile make the sauce. Place a griddle pan over a high heat while you brush the red onion and pepper with olive oil. Add them to the griddle pan and cook for 10–15 minutes, turning frequently, or until tender and charred all over.
  4. Put the pepper into a bowl, cover in cling film and leave to stand for 10 minutes then remove the skin. Cut the pepper into pieces, discarding the seeds, and put the pieces in a mini food processor with the charred onion, garlic, chillies, vinegar, lemon juice, sugar and smoked paprika. Blitz, adding the olive oil in a slow drizzle, until smooth. Season well.
  5. Serve the roasted chicken and veggies with lots of piri piri sauce.