Experience the bold and fiery flavors of Peri Peri chicken, roasted into juicy perfection. This African-Portuguese dish will surely light up your taste buds with its perfect blend of herbs, spices, and chili peppers. This recipe is simple to prepare, yet it delivers an explosive punch of flavors!
What is Peri-peri Chicken?
Peri-peri Chicken is a flavorful and spicy dish that originated in Africa but was later popularized by Portuguese settlers. It is also known as piri piri, derived from the Swahili word pilipili, meaning chili pepper. The type of chili pepper used in the dish, known as the African bird's eye chili, is renowned for its intense and robust flavor. This small, fiery pepper is a key ingredient in the peri peri sauce, contributing to the dish's distinctive taste.
The peri peri sauce or marinade typically consists of ingredients such as garlic, lemon or lime juice, vinegar, herbs, and, of course, chili! The chicken is marinated in this flavorful sauce, allowing the spices to infuse into the meat, and then grilled or roasted to perfection.
The result is a juicy and flavorful chicken with a fiery kick. The best part is you can customize this dish to different levels of spiciness according to your preference.
Ingredients for Chicken Peri peri
- Chicken - this recipe uses a whole chicken, but you may also use bone-in chicken parts such as chicken quarters, legs, or wings.
- Vegetable oil - it helps moisten the chicken during cooking and bind the ingredients together. You may also use olive or canola oil.
- Onion and garlic - add depth and richness of flavor to the dish.
- Red bell pepper - adds color as well as sweetness and balances the heat of the chili peppers.
- Oregano - You can either use fresh or dried oregano, whichever is readily available to you. This gives the sauce an earthy flavor.
- Bird’s eye chili - also known as Thai chili pepper. If unavailable you may also use cayenne, habanero, or serrano peppers.
- Vinegar and lemon - adds tang and zest to the dish. The acids also give the sauce a longer shelf life.
- Smoked paprika powder - adds a layer of flavor and complexity to the sauce.
- Salt and Pepper - to taste
- To make sure the chicken is properly cooked, use a meat thermometer to check. Insert the thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken; the internal temperature should read 165°F (74°C).
- You can grill peri-peri chicken over hot coals or bake it in the oven, like in the recipe. While grilling will give the chicken a crispier skin, baking will provide more tender, evenly cooked meat.
- You can also use an air fryer to cook your Peri-peri chicken. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F (200°C) and spray the basket with non-stick oil. Place the chicken in the air fryer basket, skin side down, and cook for 10 minutes. Flip the chicken, spray with oil, and cook for another 10-15 minutes or until cooked through.
- Always marinate chicken in the refrigerator. Bacteria can grow if the chicken stays at room temperature for a long period of time.
What to serve with Peri-peri Chicken
Serving and storing Peri-peri Chicken
- Allow the cooked Peri peri chicken to rest at room temperature before storing.
- Store the chicken and any remaining Peri peri sauce in separate containers.
- Wrap the chicken tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in an airtight container.
- You may keep it in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days or freeze it for up to 2 months.
Peri peri Chicken Recipe
- 1-1.5 kilograms whole chicken
- 1 tablespoon salt
- ½ cup vegetable oil halved
- 1 medium onion chopped coarsely
- 1 head garlic crushed coarsely
- 1 cup red bell pepper or other red peppers cut into chunks
- 1 teaspoon fresh or dry oregano get fresh from our garden tapat ng kitchen sink window
- 5-10 pieces bird’s eye chili seeds removed
- ¼ cup vinegar
- lemon juice from 1 medium lemon
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika powder
- ¼ - ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- 1-1.5 kilograms whole chicken, 1 tablespoon saltSpatchcock the chicken and rub it with salt all over. Place in a large pan or dish and set aside.
- ½ cup vegetable oil, 1 medium onion, 1 head garlic, 1 cup red bell pepper or other red peppers, 1 teaspoon fresh or dry oregano, 5-10 pieces bird’s eye chiliIn a wok or pan, heat ¼ cup oil over high heat. Add the onion, garlic, red bell pepper, and oregano. Cook for 1-2 minutes until limp and aromatic. Add the bird’s eye chilis and . Turn off the heat and let it cool down a bit.
- ¼ cup vinegar, lemon juice, ½ teaspoon lemon zest, ¼ - ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon ground pepper, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika powderIn a blender or a food processor, add the vinegar, juice from 1 lemon and ½ teaspoon lemon zest. Add the roasted aromatics, smoked paprika, remaining oil, salt, and pepper. Pulse until it all becomes smooth and creamy. Transfer peri-peri sauce to a container. This will be used as marinade and as dipping sauce.
- Spoon about ½ cup of the sauce all over the chicken then rub it all over. Cover and marinate in the fridge for 12 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 220°C (≈430°F). Cover baking pan with foil for easy cleanup and place grill rack on top.
- Place the chicken flat skin-side up on the grill rack. Brush the top with the sauce. Bake at 220°C (≈430°F) for 30 minutes. Baste with sauce, turn the heat to 250°C (≈480°F) and bake for another 10 minutes.
- Remove chicken from oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.
- Serve with rice or corn on cob or buttered corn kernels on the side and some of the peri peri sauce as dip.