Slow-Cooker Spicy Red Pepper Chicken


This chicken has all the flavors of piri piri chicken, a Portuguese dish that usually marinates in a seasoned bell pepper sauce for hours before being grilled. Our take braises in a slow cooker first, then hits the broiler to get a little char.

Slow-Cooker Spicy Red Pepper Chicken
Photo: Photographer / Jacob Fox, Food styling / Sue Mitchell, Food Styling / Kelsey Bulat
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 20 mins


  • 2 small yellow onions, divided

  • 2 large lemons, divided

  • ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth, divided

  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 (2 inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika

  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • ¾ teaspoon salt, divided

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 (4 pound) chicken, giblets removed


  1. Slice 1 onion and 1 lemon into thick rounds; spread in an even layer in a 6-quart slow cooker. Chop the remaining onion and juice the remaining lemon; transfer to a blender. Add 1/4 cup broth, bell pepper, garlic, ginger, paprika, cayenne and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Puree until very smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer 1/4 cup of the sauce to a small bowl and whisk in oil. Refrigerate until needed.

  2. Add chicken to the slow cooker. Pour the remaining sauce over it. Swirl the remaining 1/4 cup broth in the blender to get all the remaining sauce; pour over the chicken. Cover and cook until an instant-read thermometer registers 165°F when inserted in the thickest part of the meat without touching bone, about 3 hours on High or 6 hours on Low (see Tip).

  3. Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler to high. Carefully transfer the chicken to a broiler-safe baking pan or cast-iron pan (discard remaining cooking liquid). Brush with the reserved sauce. Broil until starting to lightly brown, 5 to 8 minutes.


Slow cookers get their magic from utilizing trapped hot air to cook what's inside. Opening the lid releases heat and moisture and, ultimately, slows the cooking process down. Each time you lift the lid, it can take the slow cooker up to 30 minutes to return to temperature—so no peeking!

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

256 Calories
12g Fat
6g Carbs
29g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Serving Size 3 oz.
Calories 256
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 29g 58%
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 87mg 29%
Vitamin A 1600IU 32%
Vitamin C 40mg 44%
Vitamin D 5IU 1%
Vitamin E 2mg 13%
Folate 26mcg 7%
Vitamin K 5mcg 4%
Sodium 384mg 17%
Iron 2mg 11%
Magnesium 34mg 8%
Potassium 380mg 8%
Zinc 2mg 18%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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