Easy Peri Peri Chicken, so that you can enjoy the chicken magic at home!
Hot spiced and roasted to perfection, the peri peri chicken makes a great weeknight meal. Besides that, you can include the peri peri chicken into your meal prep menu.
I have put together some information about the story of peri peri, what peri peri is and how to make it with a short video. The Peri Peri Recipe is further below.
What is Peri Peri Chicken?
Peri Peri Chicken (or Piri Piri Chicken) is prepared with so-called Piri Piri Chilis.
These particular Chilis are special due to the fact that Peri Peri was introduced by the Portugues colonists to Mozambique in Africa, as they had brought these small-sized chilis from the new world.
Therefore, Peri Peri Chilis are also known as Piri Piri, Bird’s Eye Chilis or Portugues Chilis. The name, Piri Piri, comes from the Swahili meaning Pepper Pepper. So, the term piri pri is widely known, as the Swahili language is spoken from the great African lakes to Kenya.
The Portuguese didn’t stop with Mozambique but ended up importing these Birds Eye Chilis to the other parts of their kingdom such as Angola, Namibia, and Goa (India).
Peri Peri Sauce is actually a creation of the locals in Mozambique. With Mortar and Pestle, a spicy hot sauce was created which was used to marinated meats
Eventually, the big South African Food Chain, Nando’s, picked up on the delicious peri peri sauce and brought it to worldwide fame with their individual bottled sauces and their fast food chains serving up grilled peri peri chicken all over the world.
Versions of Peri Peri Chicken
The Bird’s eye Chili Sauce is a key to a great peri peri chicken, another important point is the marination time and lastly the chicken preparation.
Homemade Peri Peri Sauce
Peri Peri sauce is a meat marination and it can be prepared from scratch with peri peri chilis and other “secret” ingredients.
The ingredients to a peri peri sauce are somehow half clouded in mystery, and that’s why in a place such as Goa, all restaurants prepare peri peri chicken their own way. Peri Peri Chicken is a popular street food in Goa, besides Chicken Cafreal and Chicken Tandoori.
The Peri Peri Sauce contains Bird’s Eye Chilis, Lime zest, Onion, Garlic and a few spices and herbs such as allspice, and tarragon amongst others. There are a few versions which include vinegar as well in the peri peri sauce.
Our food place, which we had given on rent, was serving peri peri chicken last year. The idea came from a young Indian who had been trained in the peri peri chicken process in Australia. He too confirmed the rich choice of chicken peri peri flavors in Australia.
Bottled Peri Peri Sauce
The second option is to use a store-bought Peri Peri Sauce. In the US, Canada, Australia, UK, South Afrika, and India it’s really easy to find choices of store-bought peri peri sauce.
Those ready-made sauces usually taste great and each has its own character. Nando’s was the first to bottle the spicy hot sauce, so they have a few different heat variations such as Light, medium, strong, extremely strong and some kind of a lemon version.
Today’s peri peri chicken is a Nando copycat peri peri chicken.
Hence, the purpose of this peri peri chicken recipe is to have a quick and easy way to prepare a hot and spicy meal without much effort. This is a lazy day peri peri chicken recipe!
Ingredient to make this Peri Peri Chicken Recipe 📍
You will only need a handful of ingredients to make this Peri Peri Chicken.
Use quality Chicken legs, Chicken quarters, full chicken or Chicken drumsticks with skin to make this Peri Peri Chicken. I tend to use Chicken legs for my Portuguese hot chicken.
Keep the chicken skin on the meat pieces as they help in roasting the chicken equally on all sides. You will be rewarded with a gorgeous flavorful crust (the pinnacle!).
Peri Peri sauce to marinate the chicken. Either you use a homemade version or the hot bottled peri peri sauce.
Lime Juice to add another fresh flavor dimension. Lime juice also helps in opening the meat pores to take in all those gorgeous hot flavors.
Simple Salt and Black Pepper seasoning.
Olive Oil to baste the chicken frequently so that the meat roasts properly and a crust gets formed on the chicken skin. Heaven on earth people!
How to make Peri Peri Chicken copycat version? [VIDEO] 🎞
You will realize that to make this peri peri chicken won’t take up much of your time because the sauce has been already prepared and the hot Portuguese chilis had time to mingle in the sauce to release a hot bang.
Marinating Peri Peri Chicken
What you need to consider is the marination period.
The longer you keep the meat to marinate the better it gets. Nando’s, for example, claims and mostly advertises it that way, that they keep their chicken to marinate for 24 hours.
You can choose to marinate it longer but also shorter, the intensity of flavors will reflect in the chicken. The minimum that I would recommend is 2-3 hours (not less). You still want your meat to take up the flavors. This should only be an option if you forgot to keep your meat to marinate and if you are craving peri peri chicken.
Otherwise, try to plan in advance. For example, you can keep the chicken to marinate the night before and then cook it up next for lunch or dinner.
Or if you have some extra time in the morning (you just need about 5 minutes to marinate the chicken) and when you come home in the evening you have your chicken waiting for you to be nurtured with oil and popped into the oven
A trick to get the marination to go deep into the meat is to give your chicken a few cuts. There is another technique where you keep your chicken to marinate only with lemon juice first for 30 minutes before proceeding with the peri peri marination.
Cooking Peri Peri Chicken
I think the easiest way is to roast and use the oven grill function to cook the chicken evenly. This is a whole year round solution.
In the summer you will be able to grill the peri peri chicken in the outdoors! This is definitely more fun, especially if you gather with your family and friends.
In any case, I recommend that you use a meat thermometer. This is a gadget that made my life so much easier because the meat cooks perfectly that way. You don’t under or over cook the chicken with a thermometer.
Useful tools and gadgets to prepare perfect chicken peri peri 🔪
- Meat Thermometer – The one with a stainless steel temperature probe so that you can keep the thermometer in the meat while it’s in the oven.
- Easy to wash ceramic Baking Dish/Tableware
- Sexy Oven Mitts
Easy Peri Peri Chicken Recipe [Copycat]
How to Video
- Start by creating a few random cuts into your chicken, through the skin.
- Then add the peri peri sauce, lime juice, salt and black pepper to the chicken and use your hands to marinate and massage the sauce into the chicken.
- Leave the Chicken to marinate for as long as possible. If you are in a hurry, keep minimum 2-3 hours to marinate. Best is to keep over night and day.
- When you are ready to cook the chicken, preheat your oven to 180 Celsius/ 350 Fahrenheit.
- Place the meat into a ceramic baking dish and cover the chicken with the marination. Then sprinkle some olive oil over the chicken.
- Roast your chicken for about 30-35 minutes or until the thermometer shows 75 Celsius/ about 170 Fahrenheit. While the chicken is roasting, make sure to baste the meat with olive oil frequently, so that the meat remains nice and juice. I usually like to use the oil and marination mixture which turns into a sauce at the foot of the chicken, to cover my chicken with moisture.
- After you have roasted the chicken, keep the peri peri chicken for another 5-8 minutes in the grilled mode in your oven. That way you will get a lovely crust on top of your chicken.
- You can use a Full Chicken, Chicken quarters, or Drumsticks too if you prefer instead of the Chicken legs. Best result with A grade quality chicken.
- The chicken cuts are important so that the sauce gets a chance to take over all the meat with gorgeous hot flavors.
- The longer you keep your chicken to marinate the more flavor your chicken will get.
- Use a meat thermometer to cook your chicken perfectly on the inside and outside.
- Roast the chicken first and use the grill option in your oven only to grill the chicken skin for another 5-8 mins.
Related to Peri Peri Chicken 🍗
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