Grilled or Baked Peri Peri Chicken with Sauce Recipe (2024)

Whether you bake it or fire up the grill, this homemade Peri Peri Chicken recipe is a crowd-pleaser that’s surprisingly easy to prepare.

The spicy and tangy flavors of Nando’s peri-peri chicken(also known as Piri Piri Chicken) make it a popular dish in England, where I lived with my husband for 15 years. But when we returned to the US, finding a spot that served it became quite the challenge. So, I decided to roll up my sleeves and learn how to make it myself, bringing a taste of our life in England to our American kitchen. It’s a tasty reminder of our time across the pond.

This Peri Peri Chicken recipe is not just a meal; it’s an experience.The rich flavors and spicy kick of the homemade peri peri sauce and juicy chicken will liven up your dinner table, and the best part is, there are only minutes of prep!

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Why This Recipe Works

  • Explosive Spiciness:Our Peri PeriMarinated Chickenboasts a fiery kick, thanks to the marinade’s red pepper flakes and jalapeño pepper. It’s perfect for those who crave bold flavors and a touch of heat.
  • Roasted Vegetable Infusion:The roasted bell peppers, garlic, and onions in this recipe add a smoky sweetness that beautifully complements the chicken’s spiciness.
  • Versatility:You can choose grilling or baking to suit your preferences and equipment. Either way, you’ll achieve juicy, flavor-packed chicken.

What Is Peri Peri Chicken?

Grilled or Baked Peri Peri Chicken with Sauce Recipe (2)

Peri Peri Chicken, also known asPiri Piri Chicken, is a popular and flavorful dish from Portuguese and African cuisines.It comprisestender chickenmarinated in a hot and spicy sauce. The name “Peri Peri” refers to the fiery chili peppers used in the dish, particularly bird’seye chili peppersknown for their intense heat. We use a combination of red pepper flakes and Jalapeño Pepper as bird’s eye are not commonly found in grocery stores.

Ingredient Notes

Grilled or Baked Peri Peri Chicken with Sauce Recipe (3)

Chicken Thighs:We opt for bone-in and skin-onchicken thighsfor maximum flavor and juiciness. You can substitute them with anychicken piecesyou prefer. Breasts and wings also work, but thecooking timewill vary.

Bell Pepper:Use fresh red bell peppers for roasting. If unavailable, you can use jarred roastedred peppersas a substitute.

Jalapeño Pepper:Adjust the heat by removing the jalapeño seeds for a milder flavor. Substitute with a milder pepper like poblano if you prefer less heat.

Garlic Cloves:Freshgarlic clovesare ideal. You can substitute with 1 teaspoon ofgarlic powderper clove.

Lemon Zestand Juice:Freshlemon zestand juice provide the best flavor. Bottledlemon juiceand pre-packaged zest are acceptable alternatives.

Smoked Paprika:Ensure you use smoked paprika for that unique smoky flavor. Regular paprika can be a substitute.

Dried Oregano and Thyme:Dried herbs work perfectly, but you can use fresh if available. Use 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs for every teaspoon of dried.

Olive Oil:Lightolive oilis recommended for its high heat tolerance. You can substitute with any high smoke point.

Vinegar:We usered wine vinegar, but you can substitute it with white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar for a slightly different flavor profile.

Honey orBrown Sugar:This is optional and can be omitted if you prefer a less sweet marinade.

Fresh Parsley:Fresh parsley adds a burst of freshness. Substitute with cilantro if desired.

Red Pepper Flakes:Adjust the quantity based on your heat tolerance. Substitute it with Sriracha sauce,Cayenne pepper, orhot sauce.

Erren’s Top Tips

  • It is important to mix the marinade ingredients well; don’t skip this step.
  • The longer the chicken marinates in the fridge, the better; the least time would be 2 hours, and no longer than 8 hours.
  • Spacing the chicken in the pan is essential; you want to bake your chicken, not steam it.
  • Use a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken reaches the correct internal temperature.
  • Adjust the red pepper flakes to control the spice level of the sauce.
  • Be sure not to cover the baking dish in the oven for extra crispy skin.

Storage and Freezing Instructions

Store leftover Peri Peri Chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To freeze, wrap the chicken tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Label with the date and use within 2-3 months.

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Grilled or Baked Peri Peri Chicken with Sauce Recipe (5)

Let’s Make Peri Peri Chicken with Sauce

Discover the irresistible flavors of Peri Peri Chicken with our grilled or baked recipe. Enjoy the spicy Peri Peri sauce that adds a fiery kick!

5 from 8 votes

Prep15 minutes minutes

Cook25 minutes minutes

Total40 minutes minutes

Serves: 6

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Ingredients

For the Roasted Vegetables:

  • 3 red bell peppers sliced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper sliced (remove seeds for less heat)
  • 3 garlic cloves peeled
  • 1 red onion sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

For the Marinade:

  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (about 2 lemons)
  • 3 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey or brown sugar (optional)
  • A generous handful of fresh parsley roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes adjust to taste
  • 2 lbs chicken thighs (about 6 thighs) skin-on and bone-in

For the Sauce:

  • Reserved half of the marinade
  • 1 tablespoon butter optional

US CustomaryMetric

Instructions

Roasting the Vegetables

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).

  • On a baking sheet, place the sliced red bell peppers, jalapeño pepper, garlic cloves, and red onion. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast until tender and slightly charred, about 25-30 minutes.

  • After allowing the roasted vegetables to cool slightly, transfer them to a food processor.

Making The Marinade

  • Add the lemon zest and juice, smoked paprika, oregano, thyme, olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey or brown sugar, fresh parsley, and red pepper flakes. Blend until the mixture becomes a smooth paste. Separate the mixture into two equal portions.

Marinating The Chicken

  • Season chicken on both sides with salt, and transfer a zip lock bag or bowl. Add one portion of the marinade and toss it with the chicken until all pieces are entirely and evenly coated with the marinade.

  • Marinate the chicken thighs for at least an hour or preferably overnight in the refrigerator.

Making The Sauce

  • Take the remaining marinade and heat it in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the chicken broth or water, and bring to a boil.

  • Lower the heat to low and let it simmer for about 10 minutes or until the sauce reduces to your desired tickness, then whisk in the butter. Taste for seasoning and add more salt as needed.

To Bake

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).

  • Remove chicken from marinade and transfer to a roasting pan about 2 inches part.

  • Place the pan in the oven and bake the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C), about 20 to 25 minutes.

To Grill

  • Prepare your grill for medium-high heat grilling.

  • Place the chicken thighs, skin-side down, on the preheated grill using indirect heat. Close the grill and cook for approximately 5 minutes, then flip the chicken and cook, brushing with the sauce until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C), about 5 to 7 minutes (or longer depending on your grill).

Serve

  • Serve the cooked chicken with the vibrant Peri Peri sauce, garnished with additional parsley if desired.

Tips + Notes

  • It is important to mix the marinade ingredients well; don’t skip this step.
  • The longer the chicken marinates in the fridge the better, the least amount of time would be 2 hours, and no longer than 8 hours.
  • Spacing the chicken in the pan is essential, too little space will cause the chicken to steam instead of baking up crisp.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 433 (22%)| Carbohydrates: 16g (5%)| Protein: 20g (40%)| Fat: 33g (51%)| Saturated Fat: 8g (50%)| Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g| Monounsaturated Fat: 17g| Trans Fat: 0.2g| Cholesterol: 116mg (39%)| Sodium: 120mg (5%)| Potassium: 519mg (15%)| Fiber: 4g (17%)| Sugar: 10g (11%)| Vitamin A: 3982IU (80%)| Vitamin C: 86mg (104%)| Calcium: 51mg (5%)| Iron: 3mg (17%)

Nutritional Data Disclaimer

Author:Erren Hart

Course:Main

Cuisine:Portugese

Keyword:Chicken Recipes, peri peri chicken, peri peri chicken recipe

Grilled or Baked Peri Peri Chicken with Sauce Recipe (6)

Follow Me on SocialMention @ErrensKitchen or tag #ErrensKitchen on Instagram

Step By Step Instructions

Preparing the Roasted Vegetables

Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C)

On a baking sheet, arrange the sliced red bell peppers, jalapeño pepper, peeled garlic cloves, and sliced red onion. Drizzle the vegetables with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and season them with salt and black pepper to your taste.

Grilled or Baked Peri Peri Chicken with Sauce Recipe (7)

Roast them in the oven for about 25 to 30 minutes or until they become tender and slightly charred. Then, allow them to cool before transferring to a food processor.

Grilled or Baked Peri Peri Chicken with Sauce Recipe (8)

Place the marinated chicken (leaving some space between each piece) and bake for 40 minutes to an hour, basting every 15 minutes.
If you want a crispier result, just pave the chicken under the broiler until you have the desired finish.

Making The Marinade

Add 4 tablespoons (15ml) of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon (15g) of lemon zest, 3 tablespoons (45g) of smoked paprika, 2 teaspoons (10g) of both dried oregano and dried thyme, 4 tablespoons (60ml) of olive oil, 3 tablespoons (45ml) of red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons (30ml) of honey, a generous handful of roughly chopped fresh parsley, and 2 teaspoons (20g) of red pepper flakes to the roasted vegetables in the food processor.

Grilled or Baked Peri Peri Chicken with Sauce Recipe (9)

Blend the mixture until it becomes smooth.

Grilled or Baked Peri Peri Chicken with Sauce Recipe (10)

Divide the marinade into two equal portions.

Marinading The Chicken

Season the 2 lbs (about 6 thighs) of chicken thighs (skin-on and bone-in) on both sides with salt. Transfer the seasoned chicken to a ziplock bag or a bowl. Add one portion of the marinade to the chicken and toss them together until every piece is entirely and evenly coated with the marinade.

Grilled or Baked Peri Peri Chicken with Sauce Recipe (11)

Marinate the chicken thighs for at least an hour in the refrigerator, or preferably overnight for more flavor infusion.

Making The Sauce

Take the remaining half of the marinade and heat it in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for approximately 10 minutes or until the sauce reduces to your desired thickness.

Grilled or Baked Peri Peri Chicken with Sauce Recipe (12)

Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed.

Cooking The Chicken

Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) for baking, or prepare your grill for medium-high heat grilling. Cook the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C), about 20-25 minutes in the oven or 5-7 minutes per side on the grill.

Grilled or Baked Peri Peri Chicken with Sauce Recipe (13)

Serve the cooked chicken with the vibrant Peri Peri sauce, and if desired, garnish with additional parsley for a fresh touch.

FAQs

Can I use boneless, skinless chicken thighs for peri peri chicken?

Yes, boneless, skinless chicken thighs can be used as a substitution if bone-in, skin-on thighs are not available. However, the skin-on version adds extra flavor and juiciness.

How spicy is this dish?

The spiciness can be adjusted by varying the amount of red pepper flakes. Removing the seeds from the jalapeño pepper also reduces the heat.

Grilled or Baked Peri Peri Chicken with Sauce Recipe (2024)

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