Nando’s fans, you’re going to love this recipe for homemade peri peri chicken! Chicken drumsticks marinated and coated in a fiery sauce can be either baked or grilled. Serve with a side of rice and your favorite vegetables.
Chicken is one of those proteins that is just so versatile. There are many different ways to prepare and cook it — I love recipes like roasted coconut milk chicken, Iraqi grilled chicken, or Moroccan chermoula chicken. So many recipes from around the world, so little time, am I right?
Today’s meal is called peri peri chicken. Sometimes called piri piri chicken, the dish gets its name from the spicy, sweet, and sour peri peri sauce that it is prepared and served in. It’s made with piri piri chilis (also known as African Birds Eye chilis), which lend a deliciously spicy flavor to the final results. Can't find peri peri chilis? A great substitute are Birds Eye Chilis. You’re definitely going to want a piece of bread on the side so that you can soak up any extra juices.
Speaking of juices, after marinating the chicken drumsticks and then baking or grilling them, they end up juicy, tender, and bursting with flavor. And while you’ll have to be patient while the chicken marinates, this recipe is fairly easy to put together!
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Chicken - I like to use chicken drumsticks for my peri peri chicken, but you can also use whatever piece of chicken you have on hand. Chicken breasts or thighs would work well too!
- Smoked Paprika - It’s important to marinate the chicken before you add the peri peri sauce. I love the slightly smoky flavor this variety of paprika brings to the mix.
- Garlic Powder - The other important piece of the marinade!
- Salt - Add a bit of salt to the marinade too — it will tenderize the meat a bit so that the other flavors really sink in.
- Peri Peri Sauce - I have a recipe for homemade peri peri sauce that you can feel free to use! You can also refer to the ingredient list on the recipe card below to whip up a quick batch before you make your piri piri chicken.
HOW TO MAKE PERI PERI CHICKEN
- Make The Peri Peri Sauce. If you aren’t working with a premade batch of peri peri sauce, you’ll have to prepare it before you get started. Add all of the ingredients except the vegetable oil into a food processor. Blend until well combined, then add the oil and continue to purée until smooth and emulsified. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and heat over high until it comes to a boil. Turn down the heat to low and allow to simmer for 20 minutes to reduce the quantity by half. Remove from heat and let cool for 15 minutes, then blend again in the food processor until smooth.
- Marinate The Meat. Place the chicken in a large bowl and toss it with paprika, garlic powder, and salt, then set it aside (covered) to marinate for 15 minutes. Pour half of the peri peri sauce over the chicken and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Cook The Peri Peri Chicken. You can either bake or grill your chicken. If baking, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Make sure to baste once or twice as it cooks! If grilling, lightly oil clean grill grates and grill for 35-40 minutes. Remember to baste it, and check the internal temp so you know when it’s safe to eat.
- Add More Sauce & Serve. When your chicken is done, serve it with the rest of the sauce and enjoy it with a side of rice and veggies.
What Is Peri Peri Chicken Made Of?
Piri piri chicken is traditionally made with whole chicken or bone-in pieces like drumsticks. It’s marinated in peri peri sauce, then baked or grilled.
What Is Peri Peri Marinade Made Of?
The marinade and sauce are what make this dish stand out! It’s made with piri piri chilis, garlic, lemon, and vinegar and boasts a spicy, tangy, and slightly sweet flavor. Don’t forget that it’s also sometimes called piri piri chicken! As you can guess, it’s named for the spicy chilis that make up most of the marinade.
What Goes Well With Peri Peri Chicken?
You can serve this dish with a variety of different sides. I personally keep things simple and pair it with rice and steamed veggies like green beans or broccoli. You could also do baked or mashed potatoes, coleslaw, or a fresh salad!
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Peri Peri Chicken
- 4 lbs chicken drumsticks
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
Peri Peri Sauce
- 1 small red onion chopped
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper chopped
- 2 small red chili fresno
- 2-3 piri-piri chilies or Thai bird's eye chili stems removed
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon paprika powder
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ½ cup white vinegar
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
Peri Peri Sauce
- In a food processor add all ingredients except the oil. Process well until every thing is well combined.
- After that pour in vegetable oil with processor running until smooth and emulsified.
- Pour the mixture in a pot. Heat over high until it starts boiling. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the mixture has reduced to half.
- Remove from heat and let cool for at least 15 minutes. Puree once again until smooth in consistency.
- In a large bowl toss the chicken with the paprika, garlic powder and salt. Cover and let marinate 15 minutes.
- Pour half of the Peri Peri sauce over the chicken. Toss together to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Oven Method (Preheat oven to 400°F)
- Bake the chicken for 35-40 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165°F (basting once or twice with marinade).
Grilling Method (Heat grill to 400°F)
- Clean and lightly oil the grates. Grill the chicken for 35-40 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165°F (basting once or twice with marinade).
- Remove from the oven or grill and serve with the remaining Peri Peri sauce.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.
I have a similar recipe, but I do the whole chicken on the grill. It is so delicious! I’m glad you posted this, I may make this over the weekend.
The smoked paprika is it hot or sweet