Peri Peri Chicken

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Average: 4.5 (26 votes)
Serves 4-5

I have been experimenting for a while now, trying to come up with a good and authentic-tasting peri peri sauce from scratch so as to make my home-made version of spicy Peri Peri chicken and FINALLY I believe I have landed on the perfect combination. If you like grilled chicken and love the spice, this is definitely a must-try recipe!!

The word Peri Peri comes from the Swahili word Pili Pili which stands for pepper/spicy chilli. So this dish is normally most enjoyable spicy. But of course you can always adjust the amount of chilli to suit your personal taste.

Ingredients for Peri Peri Sauce
birds-eye red chillis
(adjust spice level to your taste....2 will be mildly spicy whilst 6 will be very spicy)
big red capsicum/bell-pepper
juice of one lemon
2 tbsp.
paprika powder
2 tsp.
1 tbsp.
1/2 tsp.
red chilli powder
1/2 cup
(vegetable or olive)
cloves of garlic
4 tbsp.
dark vinegar
1 tsp.
black pepper
1/4 tsp.
red or orange food coloring
chicken, skin removed and cut into quarters then make 2-3 slits on each piece
(approx 1kg-1.5kg)

For the Peri Peri Sauce

This sauce is used for marinating the chicken and any leftover is normally cooked down and served as a dip. I prefer making the sauce up to a day ahead of using as the flavors tend to develop with a bit of time. So you can go ahead and prepare the sauce up to a day before you need to use it.

Blend all the ingredients of the sauce until smooth, then pour into a container and refrigerate until needed. You can make the sauce in bulk and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks and use as and when required.

Prepare the Chicken

To get the maximum moistness and succulence in your chicken and to infuse flavor into the meat, take a container big enough to hold the chicken quarters. Add 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar, half cup white vinegar, juice of 1 lemon, throw in some roughly chopped fresh herbs like coriander or parsley. Then add COLD water and swirl/mix everything together. Now add in your cleaned chicken pieces, they should be completely immersed in the water. Cover the container and refrigerate it for 1-4 hours. Then drain out the liquid, rinse out the chicken quarters properly to get rid of any excess salt and proceed with the marination.

Pour the prepared sauce over the chicken pieces, making sure it goes into the slits. Cover and refrigerate. Allow to marinate at least overnight or for up to 2 days.

When ready to cook, shake the excess marinade off the chicken pieces. First grill the chicken on a bbq/charcoal grill (or under the broiler grill of your oven) for about 5 minutes per side, just to seal the chicken pieces so they stay nice and moist inside, and this gives the chicken that awesome bbq flavour especially if done on a charcoal grill.

Then place the chicken quarters on a greased tray, brush some sauce over them and pop it in a pre-heated oven at 170 C and bake for about 20 minutes (turn them over midway through the baking). Next, reduce the temperature to 120 C and bake for another 15-20 minutes. Make sure to brush the chicken with some of the peri peri sauce once more during the baking so they stay moist. Once done, remove and keep the chicken covered to retain moisture.

If you did not bbq the chicken on a proper charcoal grill, you can at this point light a small coal, place it on a piece of foil and put it in the center of the dish holding the cooked chicken. Drop some oil on the lit coal and cover the dish so that the smoke released from the coal gets absorbed into the chicken. This will give your chicken a good bbq aroma.

For the remainder of the marinade/sauce, just pour it into a small saucepan, add about half a cup of water and simmer until the sauce thickens and is cooked. You can use this to serve with the chicken.

Serve your delicious Peri Peri chicken with fries, fresh salad and a cold drink.

Enjoy! :)



Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Hi, I use dried oregano, please google to see how it looks. And no it is not too much. :)

Salaams fauzia

I just want to say I made nandos chicken and it is exact same taste as nandos! Actually this beats nandos any day! Thanks for the recipe. Everyone must try this recipe!!
Family loved it so much they want me to make it again!!

hi. by oregano< do u mean < powdered oregano or oregano seeds or crushed oregano???......isnt one tbsp too much as oregano seeds have a very strong taste???

salams fauzia..this rec is surely a treasure..
thank you so much!! m wondering can this chicken
be done on bbq only ..i mean what if i dnt cook it in the

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, yes absolutely! Just simply grill on the bbq as you would normal chicken quarters until done.

Whats birds eye red chillie? Is it ok if I skip the dark vinegar as it's unavailable many people does this serve? How do I make the same kind of rice they serve at nandos?

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

Please google to see how the chilli looks, and you can use white vinegar IF dark isn't available. It is 1 chicken so it should serve 4 people. Rice recipe here: Peri Peri Rice

are these Sabut laal mirch? the round ones?

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

Not sure what those are. Try checking birds-eye chillis on google please. :)

Hi fauzia, the recipe seems amazing. I just want to ask if using green chillies instead of red bird-eye ones, going to make any difference in the taste or appearance? The same goes for red capsicum. I may find them with difficulty here ,that's why asking.

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

Hi, yes actually the red chilli and red capsicum are really crucial for the closest Nando's flavour and experience. You can use green but the result will not be the exact same. The red chilli and capsicum have a different and unique aroma and flavour from the regular green ones, that is why.

Salaam Fauzia,

This looks great..we actually stopped eating at Nandos b/c we found we were getting ripped's not cheap but everytime we go the chicken seems to be getting smaller and smaller...but we do love the flavor and would love to make it at home.

I wanted to ask you want is dark vinegar? I've never hard of it balsamic vinegar?

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, thank you! Vinegar comes in different shades of colour (from light/transparent to dark/brown) depending on fermentation processes. Balsamic is one of the dark vinegars so yes you can use that.

Balsamic vinegar has a very strong flavor (which I personally don't like), so be careful with quantity. I suggest using less

Dear Fauzia's i realy like all the way of cook Maash Allah, as advance why don't you open teached place of cook.


Thanks for the recipe, been hunting for a good nandos recipe for a while. Instead of making the sauce from scratch would it be okay to use nandos sauce/cooking sauce, and if so, what quantities? Thanks!

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, yes you can, and about 2 cups is good enough.

thnks a lot for this delicious recipe, i'll prefer to grill on bbq only. may allah grant u good health n success in all ur good thoughts, ameen

AWW. thanx for this great recipe!!! just one question, should i cover when cooking in the oven or leave it uncovered? JZK

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

Uncovered, just remember to brush the sauce on the chicken so they stay nice and moist.

Salaam Fauzia

In your recipe you refer during the baking stage to brush chicken with marinade. Is it the same marinade that we shake off/excess from the chicken (as I am assuming we use the entire sauce recipe to marinate the chicken in) or do we set some marinade aside for the specific purpose of brushing/pasting.
Also you refer again to the remainder of the marinade to reduce down and thicken over the stove as a side dip - again is this the marinade that was the excess we had in our dish from the marinating chicken or is it some we are to leave aside for this.
Thanks for clarfying - and hoping to try this once I can find the "pili pili ho ho!!"

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, yes even aside from the marinade you shake off the chicken, there will be quite a bit of leftover marinade in the container as the sauce recipe is ample. That is what you use for the basting and whatever remains is cooked down. I never need to make any extra sauce, it is normally sufficient for 1 chicken. However of course if you want extra sauce, simply blend a double quantity of the sauce and reserve it so you have plenty of extra sauce, it keeps very well. Do let me know once you try the recipe! :)

Hi Fauzia

I made only the sauce so far - its in my fridge resting. Inital taste test has got the all thumbs up from my tasters at home. Just as you said the quantity is enough to marinate the 4 pcs of chicken with some leftovers - it yielded just shy of 500 ml of sauce.
Just wanted to ask - would BBQing the chicken completely change its taste or should I stick to the instructions of partial BBQ and then remainder in the oven. I would of course continue to baste it whilst it is on the BBQ.
Let me know if this variation would change the taste/final product.
Thanks and I will keep you posted.

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

Hi! Yes you can BBQ the chicken to completion, I tend to prefer finishing it off in the chicken as I find the chicken turns out more tender that way, literally falls off the bone. But either way works of course. Looking forward to your feedback!

I made this for dinner today. The recipe is precise to your exact instructions. It produced an appetizing looking and moist chicken. The extra sauce when reduced down served as a great flavour enhancer to the chicken pieces as we dipped and enjoyed it. Next time I may try a different dark vinegar as the balsamic one I used somehow overpowered the other flavours.
A nice change from my routine tandoori.
The advanced preparation made putting it together quite easy.
Thanks Fauzia!

Salaam Fauzia... I tried the chx today. It turned out nice. We don't have nandos here in USA, so I don't know whatvthevtaste should be like. I made double quantity sauce. Hopefully, it will go hit at the eid party!! Thx for sharing thsvrecipe!!

There is nandos in USA. In DC and maryland

Instead of BBQ can I use simple oven grill and also plz tell what is oregano and paprika powder

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

Yes you can, and the two are dry herbs and spices.

can v use peri peri nandos sauce ..we can get it from stores now?

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

Yes, as I have responded above, you can use the ready-made sauce.


your recipes are awsome and they solved the big problem of finding recipes here and there. we can use them without any concern that how it will turn. i just want to ask can we use a green capsicum that turns red. it is usually difficult to find red capsicum and it is very expensive too.

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, thank you dear. Yes you can use a green one that turns red.

Slmz. Any idea where I can purchase birds eye chillies n capsicum pepper in Durban, south Africa

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, check the vegetable isle at your local supermarket, should be easily available.

Salaam Alaikum Fauzia ,
i wanted to ask about the birds-eye red chillis . i googled it .i am confused. the pictures has two types of chillies one is the really small red dried chillies and the other is long dried red chillies. which one did you use. where i stay, the really small red dried chillies are available.

Jazak Allah Khairun for such easy yet successfully tasty recipes :)

please help.

slaam i really love this recipe even i havnt tried it yet but will soon and can you please tell me or explain again or show pictures on lighting small coals please
and i have a small oven is it ok if i put all the pieces in 1 tray and let it be crowded or should the pieces be spread out

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, lighting a coal is easy just turn the stove on and place a piece of coal over the fire until it lights and use. The pieces should be spread out to cook properly.

you are doing a good job:)jazakAllah
i want to ask about oregano.did you used ground oregano?

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, I used dried oregano.

its imaging! Thank's Fauzia for a superb recipe. And also eid mubarak.

i couldnt find the bird eye red chilli.can i use the dried red chilli

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

Try using fresh red chillis.

Assalam Alykum,

My next attempt... yummy!!!!!!!

thanks Fauzia

Salamz Fauzia, my entire family is crazy about nando's, i can't wait to try this one! Thank you so sooo much for all the wonderful recipes you keep posting..God bless you! <3
For some of those belonging to India/pakistan who are confused...birds-eye chilli is often refered to as kashmiri mirch here!

Hi fauzia !
Cant tell how happy i am to come across ur website !! I improved soo much in cooking ! My mother is so happy ! May allah bless u :) . Tried alot of ur recipies evrytym wit awesome results ! Thank u soo much ! Just 1 que can i shallow fry dis chicken as i just hve regular microwave and wat wud be da substitute to birds eye and paprika as i tried looking for dem but cudnt find ?? Plz help !

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

Hi and thank you! Please try and google the words so as to see how the ingredients look, that way you may be able to recognise them.

Can i shallow fry dis chicken as i hve da regular microwave ?

Fauzia&#039;s Kitchen Fun's picture

You can try! Hope it turns out as good as the grilled version.