Easy Peri Peri Chicken Recipe
Why We Love This Easy Chicken Recipe
Peri Peri chicken is a healthy roasted chicken dish popular in South Africa. It consists of bone-in chicken pieces marinated in a spicy Peri Peri sauce, then roasted in the oven.
The true origins make this dish a Portuguese-African fusion, as Portuguese traders introduced the spicy bird’s eye chilies to this part of Africa. To the American palette, the flavor would seem like an exotic version of baked buffalo chicken.
To make this easy Peri Peri chicken recipe for a midweek dinner ready in under an hour, I use store-bought Peri Peri sauce as the base and marinate it overnight. I also amplify the flavor with lemon juice and a blend of vibrant seasonings.
My daughter who spent a large part of last year in South Africa loves this recipe. Try it yourself, you will not be disappointed!
Ingredients You Need
- Chicken – your favorite bone-in pieces with the skin on
- Peri Peri sauce – medium or hot
- Lemon juice – freshly squeezed is best
- Spices – garlic powder, smoked paprika, dried basil (or oregano), and salt
Note: You can certainly buy African bird’s eye chilies in bulk and make your own Peri Peri sauce, but I have recently found bottled Peri Peri sauce in almost every grocery store I visited around town. Nando’s Peri Peri sauce is the most common variety, a product from the popular restaurant chain in South Africa.
How to Make Peri Peri Chicken
Place the bone-in chicken pieces in a baking dish. Pat the chicken pieces dry and sprinkle them liberally with salt.
In a small mixing bowl, add the Peri Peri sauce, lemon juice, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and dried basil.
Mix well for an evenly blended marinade.
Portion out ½ cup of Peri Peri sauce to pour over the chicken pieces. Move the chicken around the pan to make sure it is well coated.
Reserve the rest of the Peri Peri sauce for later use.
Then cover and chill for at least one hour, but up to 24 hours.
Get the Complete (Printable) Peri Peri Chicken Recipe + VIDEO Below. Enjoy!
When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 400°F. Move the chicken pieces to a large rimmed baking sheet, skin side up, separating them so they do not touch.
Brush the remaining Peri Peri sauce from the baking dish over the tops of the chicken.
Roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Then brush the tops of the chicken again with the reserved Peri Peri sauce.
Roast again for 20 minutes, or until the thickest pieces are cooked through.
Recipe Tips and Variations
- Piri Piri sauce is meant to be hot, and the medium is hot for most people. Only buy the hot variety if you can really handle the heat!
- We use whole fryer chicken pieces. Feel free to use different pieces of bone-in chicken, like just wings, drumsticks, or chicken thighs.
- If you prefer boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, reduce the cooking time from 40 minutes to 20-25 minutes.
- You can grill the marinated Peri Peri chicken for a deep, smoky charred flavor. Heat the grill to medium heat, and cook the pieces of chicken for about 15 minutes on each side, until the inside temperature registers 165°F with a meat thermometer. (For boneless grilled chicken, 5 minutes per side.)
- Marinate the chicken pieces late the evening the night before, or in the morning, the day you plan to cook. Then baking them is a breeze!
In South Africa, Peri Peri chicken is most commonly served with fries.
However, pair it with any side dish you like! Here are a few ideas to get you going:
- Corn on the Cob
- Mashed Potatoes
- Grilled Vegetables
- Fluffy white rice or low carb Cauliflower Rice
Frequently Asked Questions
What does Peri Peri chicken mean?
Peri Peri is the South African spelling of the dish’s original Portugese name, Piri Piri. Both versions translate to pepper-pepper, a nod to the bold spices and heat of the dish.
How long can you marinate the chicken?
The chicken pieces should be in the Peri Peri sauce marinade for at least 1 hour. You can marinate for up to 24 hours, but no longer than that.
What is the right internal temperature of cooked chicken?
The poultry meat needs to register 165°F when checked with a meat thermometer.
How long do leftovers last?
Cooked chicken will keep well for up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Let cool completely, then place in an airtight container and store in the fridge. To keep the skin crisp I recommend that you reheat in a 350°F oven for about 10-15 minutes until warmed throughout. Or easily reheat in an air fryer!
Looking for More Easy Chicken Recipes? Be Sure to Also Try:
- Chicken Vesuvio (Italian Baked Chicken)
- Peruvian Baked Chicken Roll Ups
- Crispy Baked Buffalo Chicken Recipe
- Grilled Maple Mustard Chicken
- Mind-Blowing Nashville Hot Chicken
Easy Peri Peri Chicken Recipe + VIDEO
- Place the bone-in chicken pieces in a baking dish. Pat the chicken pieces dry and sprinkle liberally with salt.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the Peri Peri sauce, lemon juice, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and dried basil. Mix well.
- Portion out ½ cup of Peri Peri sauce to pour over the chicken pieces. Move the chicken around the pan to make sure it is well coated. Then cover and chill for at least one hour, but up to 24 hours. Reserve the rest of the Peri Peri sauce for later use.
- When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 400°F. Move the chicken pieces to a large rimmed baking sheet, skin side up, separating them so they do not touch.
- Use a basting brush to brush any remaining Peri Peri sauce, from the dish, over the tops of the chicken.
- Roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Then brush the tops of the chicken again with the reserved Peri Peri sauce.
- Roast again for 20 minutes, or until the thickest pieces are cooked through.