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

The oven should be very hot, around 200C when you place the skewers in it so that the chicken cubes get sealed instantly and don't loose all their moisture. Approximately 8-10 minutes per side for the skewers to be done. You can then cut into one cube and check. :)

I tried your bounty cake it was very good!!!im confused about the bird's eye chilli, is it the same as lal mirch one that is traditionally used in Pakistan and India??? i googled it and read about it but mostly on indian websites i was called lal marach and i coudnt really get to know the answer

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Thanks for the lovely feedback. Yes I would guess bird's eye chillis would be the lal mirch. They will work fine. :)

Thanks to you for providing us with these perfect recipes in one place....Its like if you are following a recipe from FKF then it definitely will be what it looks like in the hassle of ingredients or method and really easy to follow. i never go to any other site now just follow your recipes :)

Does it matter if I use green birds eye chillies?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

I think the aroma from the red ones works out better for this recipe.

Salaam Fouzia,

I would like to ask that is the peri peri sauce suppose to taste herby, and if it is herby then what do you do?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, no it shouldn't be too herby but it does have a herb flavour along with the more prominent bell-pepper flavour.

Hi and thank you for the grat recipe I am making food for a large family and only have one gas oven can I make the peri peri chicken during the day and serve in the evening as I wil need my gas to make rice. What's the best way to store the cooked chicken until serving please

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Thanks! Yes you can make the chicken ahead and then just warm it up right before serving.

hi, can I cook this in a microwave? would it come as same taste ?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

I would not recommend that. Have not baked in the microwave but am doubtful that the results will be good.

I tried this yesterday in microwave. tasted good but did not come out like nandos though.

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Try this on a bbq grill or under an oven grill for best results. Not in a microwave.


I wanted to know that after preparing the sauce we have to marinated the chicken with all the sauce we have made or is there any specific amount we have to use..

JazakAllah Khair.

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/salaam, use all the sauce.

Salaam can i use green bird eye chillies?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, it won't give the same results in flavour.

Salams sister, I can see that you have mentioned we can use pre made peri peri sauce for this but I am just wondering if we need to just use it or do you thinking is better to add some red or orange food colouring? As bottled sauce ir orengy colour and I want my chicken to be just like yours. So pls recommend if I should make the sauce or bottled one should do same as your recipe. JazakaAllah Khair.

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam. I would recommend for you to make the sauce from scratch, it is really easy and will give such yummy results. :)

Good day. Thank you for the great recipe.

Can you explain the exact volume of half cup of oil or water in your recipe?

When making the Peri Peri sauce, how much sauce recipe is required to mix with half cup of water?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Thanks! Half a cup is 100ml. Just add half a cup of water to whatever is left from the marinade after you get the chicken out of it. :)

What is oregano?
I googled it but couldnt understand what actually it it ajwain??

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

It is not ajwain. It is an italian herb.

Do we need to place the marinated stuff in fridge or freezer?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture



I just joined your website and I want to try this recipe, and I was just wondering which dark vinegar you used for the sauce? Because I heard that balsamic vinegar has quite a hard taste. Thanks, Lubna

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, I use regular dark vinegar, the ascetic kind. Not balsamic.

salaam. We like to eat with a sauce after marination the left over sauce I have to cook it or serve like that?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, you HAVE to cook it first as it was used for marinating raw chicken. It would be very unhealthy to serve it without cooking.

Salalms.... its been soo hectic at home on all you receipts... but my family members love it.... do u conduct any classes online. kindly please provide me the details if so....................

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, thank you! At the moment I just share my recipes online, no classes. :)

aoa. i dont have grill so i roasted it for 1 hour but still it was pink from inside not whitish. y is that so?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

At what temperature? And was the oven preheated?

i am not sure about exact temperature. Numbr on oven was at 4. I preheated oven for half hour.

Wow, this Nando's style peri peri sauce is absolutely stunning. well done on you. The marinade was good enough on its own, but I cooked down the excess and what a great addition, especially to dip my curly fries in mmmmmmm

thanks for all the tips and delicious recipes...Excellent job...

If I have store bought Peri Peri sauce, how many tbsp/cups do I need for this recipe?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Please refer to previous comments.


Hi Fauzia! I'm dying to try this out. I have a question, I have dried bird's eye chillies instead of fresh ones. Do you think they'll work as a substitute? I do know that they'r very spicy.

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Hi! They should be fine.

Salaam thank u for wonderful and tasty recipes fauzia. How long can i keep the sauce in the fridge also can we freeze the sauce. Thank u

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, uncooked the sauce will keep for a couple of days in the fridge. Cooked it can last up to 2 months frozen.

Thank u for reply,am going to make the sauce now. Can you please please get recipe for peri peri salt,the one that you get in nados to sprinkle on fries. Thank you may Allah swt bless you and your family.

Hi, can I ask what type/brand of dark vinegar you used? I'm in the UK, and the olnt kind of "dark" vinegars you can buy are balsamic, and malt. I'm guessing, from the comments regarding balsamic, that you used malt, but I would like to know for sure :)

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Hi! I think balsamic will be fine for this recipe. One of our fans wrote to say she made this with balsamic and the results were great. :)

hi fauzia
no words to say.. i tried out this.. came out yumm yumm.. we liked it so much..we said bye to nandos.. thank u so much

Hi - Iove your Piri Piri recipe. I've just uploaded mine at:

We went through many recipes to get the right mix between tangy, flavoursome and spicy. We hope you like it. It's an awesome marinade and a really tasty dip.


Hi fauzia, just tried this recipe with chicken corn soup. It was a hit, thank you