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Peri Peri Chicken

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This peri peri chicken is amazing! You’ve got to try this one.

My son loves going to Nando’s. He loves the spicy peri peri chicken and challenged me to do a better job of it. Not one to turn down a good challenge, I decided to give it a go.

I already had a peri peri sauce recipe in a family cookbook that was handed down to me that my late grandfather called Brazilan Peri Peri. I’m not really sure what makes the sauce Brazilian as it has many of the same ingredients listed on Nando’s bottles.

Peri peri chicken

About this peri peri chicken recipe

Whatever you call it, this is an excellent recipe for the summer barbecue. 

If the weather doesn’t play ball this recipe also works well  cooked in the oven which is what I did. You could also  grill the chicken over direct heat so there are lots of alternatives if the British weather you down.

I only marinated the chicken for three hours but marinating it over night would be better. It allows the flavours to develop. The piri piri sauce is used both as a marinade and it is also slathered over the cooked chicken.

Whether you are stuck indoors or enjoying the sun outside, I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did. Nando’s, eat your heart out!

If you like this spicy chicken recipe try these others:

Spicy Chicken Wings
Spicy Chicken Vegetable Noodle Soup
Spicy Chicken Wing Curry
Fiery Hot Naga Chicken Curry
Spicy Griled Chicken with Tomato Salsa
Spicy Chicken Parmasans
Spicy Fried Chicken Lollipops
Spicy Chilli Garlic Roast Chicken

Making Brazilian piri piri chicken

Frying the vegetables in the hot oil with the spices.

Making Brazilian piri piri chicken

The vegetables will begin to break down as they simmer.

Making Brazilian piri piri chicken

Blend it all up nice and smooth.

Making Brazilian piri piri chicken

Chicken ready for the oven.


Brazilian piri piri chicken

Ready to serve!

Yield: 4

Brazilian Piri Piri Chicken

Brazilian Piri Piri Chicken
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes


  • 5 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper (bell pepper), roughly chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 green or red chillies, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp smoked or normal paprika
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp dried chilli (hot pepper) flakes
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 70ml (generous 1/4 cup) white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1.5kg (3lb 5oz) chicken thighs, bone-in and skin left on
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper Lime slices, to serve


  1. Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium–high heat and add the chopped onion and bell pepper. Fry until the onion is translucent and soft, then add the garlic and chillies. Fry for a further minute or so, then add 1 tbsp of the paprika, the cayenne chilli powder, black pepper and chilli (hot pepper) flakes and season with salt.
  2. Add the lemon juice and vinegar and simmer for about 5 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, then blend until very smooth and place this marinade in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  3. When ready to prepare your chicken, season the thighs generously with salt and pepper and the remaining paprika and pour over half of the piri piri sauce. Stir it all up so that the chicken is nicely coated and marinate in the fridge for no more than 3 hours.
  4. When ready to cook, heat your oven to it’s highest temperature. Remove as much of the marinade as you can and stir it into the marinade you set aside. Place the chicken on a roasting tray and cook for 40 minutes–1 hour, until the chicken is crisp and cooked through.
  5. Transfer the chicken to a warm serving plate, then whisk the retained marinade into the cooking juices in the tray. Bring to a rolling simmer. You can either pour this over the chicken or serve it like a gravy at the table. Serve the chicken drizzled with the sauce and topped with slices of lime.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 306Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 141mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 10g

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Brazilian piri piri chicken

I hope you give this one a try. Please let me know what you think if you do. 🙂


Paul Roberts

Monday 14th of May 2018

Hi Dan, I love your book and recipes; keep up the good work! I always, since getting 'The Curry Guy' book, have some Base Curry Sauce/Gravy in the fridge or freezer. Have you ever used or do you think you could use Base Curry Sauce in a Piri-Piri recipe? Cheers, Paul.

Dan Toombs

Monday 14th of January 2019

Hi Paul

Thank you very much. I haven't tried it with piri-piri but the answer is you definitely can. Go for it. The base sauce is just the liquid required to cook the curry just like a more authentic Indian base masala with oil, onions, tomatoes and water is.

Thank you very much, Dan


Friday 29th of July 2016

Hi Thank you for sharing the recipe. Would you have the peri peri sauce recipe?

Pieter Opperman

Friday 15th of July 2016

I love your reference to Nando's. I am South African living in Cape Town and am proud to say that Nando's is pure South African, with a number of overseas branches. As I love Nando's flavours, I am looking forward to making your recipe. It looks very nice.

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 26th of July 2016

Thanks Pieter. Hope you like it. :-)



Wednesday 13th of July 2016

This recipe sounds great and is definitely similar to the Nando's one. Did you know that the Portugese brought us the most divine Peri-peri chicken and Periperi prawns to Southern Africa specifically to Angola and Mocambique which they had colonised? Nando's was originally opened in South Africa by two Portuguese friends who left Mocambique and brought their recipe with them to South Africa?

I have only recently come across your blog and am thoroughly enjoying your recipes. Keep up the good work and best of luck with your cook book.

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 26th of July 2016

Hi Denise

Thank you very much. Really glad you liked the recipe. :-)


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