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Peri Peri Chicken with gremolata on parchment on a cutting board.

Peri Peri Chicken Recipe

Megan Ellam
Make your own Nando's with our incredibly tasty Portuguese Peri Peri Chicken recipe. Simple, delicious, and ready in under 60 minutes.
5 from 87 votes!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Lunch and Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine portuguese
Servings 4 serves
Calories 557 kcal


  • 1.6 kg whole chicken butterflied (instructions added to help you do this)


  • 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



  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.
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. 
This recipe yields approximately 4 servings. The actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes. 
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. 
Nutritional values shown are a guideline only. They are for 1 serving using the ingredients listed. 
All recipes have been tested using all of the cooking methods included by various recipe testers.
You can freeze the peri peri sauce, the marinated chicken and the chicken after roasting. Store it in the fridge for a max of 3-4 days or freeze in individual portions for simple lunches and dinners.
The recipe card instructions contain the most basic of steps and a list of ingredients. If you have any queries, questions or are unsure of substitutions, please scroll up to the blog post for more information.


Serving: 1serveCalories: 557kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 36gFat: 43gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 8gMonounsaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 144mgSodium: 363mgPotassium: 470mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 2019IUVitamin C: 29mgCalcium: 32mgIron: 2mgMagnesium: 46mgNet Carbs: 2g
Keyword homemade nandos chicken, peri peri chicken recipe, piri piri chicken
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