What is Peri Peri Chicken?
Peri Peri Chicken has become more and more popular with the rise of restaurants like Nando’s. Homemade peri peri chicken Nando’s style is a good recipe to have. Just think juicy, garlicky, zesty and vibrant spicy chicken. It is soooo good!
Peri Peri Chicken is also known as piri piri chicken. Is there a difference between the two? No there isn’t, both are just deliciously good Portuguese African chicken.
Related recipes Peri Peri Sauce/Gremolata (it is the perfect condiment).
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Delicious! – there really isn’t a better reason to love a recipe than this!
Quick and easy – this whole butterflied Peri Peri Chicken recipe has minimal ingredients but makes a filling and delicious main meal.
Simple ingredients – all the ingredients are basic, regular pantry and fridge items.
Low carb – at only 2g net carbs per serve, this is an ideal low-carb and keto-friendly main meal.
Family-friendly! – This is a keto meal that will be enjoyed by the whole family.
Various cooking methods – I have included methods to air fry, grill, or oven bake. Thermal cooking methods for our Thermomix® users have been included for the sauce too.
Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom for the quantity of each ingredient used and the full detailed recipe for this delicious peri peri sauce chicken recipe! Keep reading for more details on the ingredients, substitutes and step by step instructions on how to make it.
Free Range Chicken – I have cooked this with a whole free range chicken, which requires minimal preparation! You can substitute with chicken breasts (skin on or off), chicken thigh fillets, or even wings or drumsticks.
Garlic – I like to buy Australian Garlic whenever possible, as the flavour from freshly minced garlic cloves is much better than from the jars of minced garlic.
Paprika, bird’s eye chili peppers, chili sauce, and chili flakes – sounds like quite a spicy combo doesn’t it? This piri piri sauce recipe has a bit of spice to it without it being hot and spicy, if you know what I mean. It is nicely balanced and with the amount used to marinate the chicken just adds a tasty flavour without a full-on chilli kick! If you love super spicy then use hotter chillies or more of the spices. This is the chili garlic sauce I use.
Roasted capsicum/red peppers – I use fire-roasted red peppers from the supermarket. You can roast your own your peppers if preferred.
Lime or lemon juice – use freshly squeezed for lots of zesty goodness.
FAQs and Tips
You can easily swap any part of the chicken in place of butterflied chicken. Baste and cook the chicken breast at the same heat as the original recipe. Reduce the cooking time to 20-30 minutes, turning halfway, until the internal temperature is reached.
Sure can! Freeze it cooked or uncooked. The peri sauce can be frozen on its own too.
So many options here. A peri peri chicken pizza would be amazing! Wrap it in one of our incredible keto tortillas or keto wraps with some salad. Or even a peri peri chicken soup would be incredible!
It is said that peri peri originated in South Africa by Portuguese explorers. A spicy sauce made with Africa’s birds eye chillies and much-loved the world over.
How to Spatchcock a Chicken
Learn how to butterfly (spatchcock) a chicken with these very simple steps.
Step 1. Place the chicken breast side down on a cutting board. Using a pair of kitchen scissors cut the backbone out of the chicken but cutting along each side of the backbone. The bone can be used in stock or flavouring a sauce rather than discarding.
Step 2. Turn the chicken over and press your hands down on the breast and flatten the chicken. It is just that simple. If preferred, you can cut through the centre alongside the breast bone and cut into two halves.
Step 3. Season the chicken or baste with a marinade. Bring to room temperature before cooking.
How To Make Peri Peri Chicken
Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom for the quantity of each ingredient used and the full detailed recipe for this delicious copycat Nando’s Chicken recipe!
Step 1: Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
Step 3: Preheat oven to 240°C/220°C FAN/475°F. Line a baking tray with foil then add a sheet of parchment paper. Place chicken onto prepared tray skin-side up. Baste with a tablespoon of oil. Season with salt flakes and black pepper.
Step 4. Bake 20 minutes. Reduce oven temp to 200°C/180°C FAN/400°F. Bake for a further 35-40 minutes, or until the internal temperature in the meatiest part is (75°C/165°F). Serve with gremolata and leftover peri peri sauce. For a creamy sauce add a tablespoon of sour cream or yoghurt.
More Recipes To Try
I have lots of chicken recipes on the website as well as in my cookbooks. Some of the most popular keto chicken recipes that you might like to try are:
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Peri Peri Chicken Recipe
- 1.6 kg whole chicken butterflied (instructions added to help you do this)
PERI PERI MARINADE
- 4 tablespoons olive oil (60g), plus extra for basting
- 2 teaspoon chilli flakes
- 1-2 cloves garlic finely minced
- 0.5 cup roasted red capsicum
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1-2 red Thai chilli finely chopped, optional, for a milder sauce remove the membrane and seeds
- 1 tablespoon chilli & garlic sauce I use Huy Fong brand found in most supermarkets
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- Zest and juice of 1 lime
- Salt and pepper to taste
OVEN BAKE METHOD
Place all the marinade ingredients into a blender and mix until well pureed. Set aside.
Place the chicken breast side down on a cutting board. Using a pair of kitchen scissors cut the backbone out of the chicken but cutting along each side of the backbone. The bone can be used in stock or flavouring a sauce rather than discarding.
Turn the chicken over and press your hands down on the breast and flatten the chicken. Pour half of the marinade into a small bowl, cover and chill to serve. Use the remainder to baste the chicken all both sides. Set the chicken aside at room temperature to marinate and come to room temperature before roasting or grilling. (see notes)
Preheat oven to 240°C/220°C FAN/475°F. Line a baking tray with foil then add a sheet of parchment paper.
Place the chicken onto prepared tray skin-side up. Baste with a tablespoon of oil. Bake 20 minutes. Reduce oven temp to 200°C/180°C FAN/400°F. Bake for a further 35-40 minutes, or until the internal temperature in the meatiest part is (75°C/165°F). Serve with gremolata and leftover peri peri sauce. For a creamy sauce add a tablespoon of sour cream or yoghurt.
AIR FRYER METHOD
Prepare the marinade and chicken as above. Preheat the air fryer to 180°C/350°F for 3 minutes. Place the marinated chicken into the basket. Baste with 1 tablespoon of oil and bake for 20 minutes. Turn the chicken over and cook for a further 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature in the meatiest part is (75°C/165°F). Serve with gremolata and leftover peri peri sauce. For a creamy sauce add a tablespoon of sour cream or yoghurt.
NINJA FOODIE XL GRILL
Prepare the marinade and chicken as above.
Press grill button, set to medium/25 min. Once “Add Food” flashes, add butterflied chicken skin side up onto grill and close lid. Halfway through grilling time turn the chicken over and grill until the internal temperature in the meatiest part is (75°C/165°F). Serve with gremolata and leftover peri peri sauce. For a creamy sauce add a tablespoon of sour cream or yoghurt.
Place all the marinade ingredients into mixer; mix 1 min/speed 9. Scrape down sides of bowl and repeat if needed. Follow from step 2 above.
- I use Grove avocado oil or extra virgin olive in this recipe.
- Fire roasted red capsicum can be purchased jarred/canned at the supermarket. Alternatively, roast over a gas flame, grill or in the oven until the skin is blackened and charred. Sweat the capsicum in a bag then peel and discard skin and the seeds.
- Any of your favourite chillies can be used. Increase up to 4 chillies if preferred or add higher Scoville chillies for a more intense chilli flavour. If you do not like spicy food, then you can also omit them altogether.
- I use a free range chicken around 1.6kg/3.5 pounds. On average this serves 4 people with a little leftover. Increase the chicken size if you need to feed more people.
Butterflying a whole chicken is not hard. A good quality pair of kitchen sheers is an essential utensil in my opinion. Follow the steps above to butterfly and make a flat chicken.
MARINATING AND ROASTING CHICKEN
I like to marinate to room temperature only. Chicken can be left out for up to a couple of hours to come to room temperature before cooking.
Starting any cooking process with cold and well chilled meat can leave you with dry and unevenly cooked meat. Think of it like a bath. If you are really cold and go to jump in a hot bath you recoil as does your skin and body this works the same with protein. At room temperature the chicken will be gently roasted or grilled without shocking it.
I marinate for up to 1 hour in my kitchen and then preheat the oven. Once the oven, grill, barbecue or air fryer are at temperature I cook my now rested chicken.
To calculate the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe by 4. The result will be the weight of one serving.
All recipes have been tested using all of the cooking methods included by various recipe testers.
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