If you enjoy Nando’s peri peri chicken, you are going to love this recipe for oven-baked peri peri chicken. Tasty chicken thighs are marinated in a spicy peri peri sauce before being baked in the oven to give you the juiciest most tender chicken pieces with the familiar peri peri flavour we all know and love.
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Oven-baked peri peri chicken
When I was working in London, one of our favourite treats was a lunch-time visit to Nando’s for some of their famous peri peri chicken. Since leaving work, and moving away from London, I find myself in the position of not having a Nando’s restaurant nearby, and that particular pleasure is now just a distant memory.
Until, that is, I decided to try making it myself, at home. And now that I’ve perfected the taste, I can enjoy peri peri chicken any time I feel like it. I just wish I’d done this sooner 🙂
What I like about making this at home is that you can adjust the amount of chili you add. I prefer the peri peri to be hot enough to provide a ‘zing’ but not so hot that it numbs your mouth so you can’t taste what you are eating. With this recipe you just alter the chili to suit your own taste.
I also like to bake this chicken in the oven which to my mind is so much healthier than frying. And because the marinade contains olive oil, there’s no need to add any additional oil before baking.
The sauce itself is so easy to make. You just whizz all the ingredients in the blender and then pour over the chicken to marinate for an hour or two (or overnight in the fridge if you can wait that long). Then it’s just 20 minutes in the oven for the tastiest peri peri chicken ever.
How do you make peri peri chicken?
This recipe will feed 4 people. If you want to make extra you should allow 100g or 4 ounces of raw chicken per person (add extra if your chicken is on the bone, and also add extra for seconds – I guarantee you will need it).
- Prep time: 5 minutes
- Marinate: 2 hours
- Cooking time 25 minutes in the oven
To start off with you will need some peri peri chilis. These are extremely hot little chilis that originated in Mozambique and Angola on the southern African continent. They are sometimes called bird’s eye chilis. If you can’t get hold of these you can substitute with dried chili flakes.
You will also need a small red bell pepper, a few cloves of garlic and some herbs and spices. See the printable recipe card at the end of this post for a detailed list of ingredients.
For the chicken I like to use skinless, boneless chicken thighs, but you can use any cut of chicken you prefer, with or without the skin. If you decide to leave the skin on the chicken pieces you will find it crisps up beautifully in the oven.
Just whizz all the ingredients for the peri peri sauce in a food processor so that they are very finely chopped. If you don’t have a food processor then you will need a sharp knife, a chopping board and a lot of patience to get the chilis, bell pepper and garlic chopped as finely as you can get them, before mixing them with the remaining sauce ingredients.
Marinade the chicken
Place the chicken in a mixing bowl and pour the sauce over, then mix well to ensure the chicken is completely covered. This doesn’t make for the most attractive photo.
Cover the bowl and allow to marinade for at least 2 hours. You can leave it overnight (or even for a couple of days) covered, in the refrigerator, for the flavours to really develop.
Once you are ready to bake the chicken, pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F and arrange the chicken pieces on a baking sheet and pour over any remaining marinade. You do not need to add any additional oil. There is sufficient olive oil in the marinade. If you are using chicken pieces that still have their skin on, then place them skin-side up.
Bake the chicken
Place the baking tray in the pre-heated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until cooked through (smaller pieces of chicken will take less time). If you are using larger pieces of chicken, with the bone still in, you should cook it until the internal temperature reaches 75C/165F, and there should be no pink juices running out when you prick the chicken with a skewer.
Once the chicken is cooked, remove from the oven and serve.
What do you serve with peri peri chicken?
I like to serve this peri peri chicken with a spicy mushroom rice, a few slices of fresh tomatoes to cut through the peri peri, and a slice of garlic bread.
You could also serve it with potato wedges or crispy french fries and a side dish of fresh corn on the cob.
The baked chicken also makes a delicious burger. Just sandwich between one of these crusty Portuguese bread rolls for an easy lunch or light supper.
Can I freeze peri peri chicken?
You can freeze the raw chicken in the marinade. Just tip the marinade and chicken into a ziploc bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Let it defrost in the refrigerator before baking.
Can I make it in advance?
You can safely store the chicken in the marinade in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
What can I do with the leftovers?
What leftovers? 🙂
Seriously though – this chicken is perfect served in a sandwich, or even just cut into slices and served with a plate of cherry tomatoes and a crusty breadroll for a light lunch.
Don’t forget to check out my handy Cookery Conversion Calculator if you want to convert any of your recipe measurements from grams to cups, ounces, tablespoons or millilitres and vice versa. You can also use the calculator for converting oven temperatures between Fahrenheit, Celsius, and Gas marks.
If you live at a high altitude you may find you need to adjust your baking recipes to compensate for this. You can read all about it in this post on baking at high altitudes.
Pin for later
Why not pin this recipe for peri peri chicken to your pinterest board so you can make it later. Just click the image below.
Nandos copycat peri peri chicken recipe
Peri peri chicken
(Click the stars to rate this recipe)
- 1 pound (450g) skinless, boneless chicken thighs
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 medium red bell pepper
- 2 small bird's eye chilis or use the equivalent of dried chili flakes
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- Place all the ingredients for the marinade in a food processor and whizz around until very finely processed.
- Place the chicken pieces in a mixing bowl and pour the marinade over. Mix through until the chicken is completely coated.
- Cover the chicken and place in the refrigerator to marinade for 2 hours.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°C / 400°F
- Arrange the chicken pieces on a baking tray and pour any remaining marinade over the chicken.
- Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 75°C / 165°F
- Remove from the oven and serve with a bowl rice or a plate of french fries, and a slice of garlic bread.
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.
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