This delicious Peri Peri Chicken will spice up your family meals! A healthy fakeaway version of Nandos Peri Chicken that’s slimming friendly and cooks in just 30 minutes.
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I have to say that often I look at chicken and my mind goes a bit blank. I have a handful of favourite family recipes that I make again and again, but sometimes you need to spice things up, am I right?
Enter… Peri Peri Chicken! Fans of Nando’s will of course be familiar with their spicy chicken and making it at home is not just easier and healthier it’s much cheaper too. Here’s why you will love it
- Family friendly – control the spice levels to suit your taste
- Quick and easy to cook (remember to marinate it first!)
- Free on Slimming World (see recipe notes)
- Allergy Friendly – Gluten Free, Dairy Free
- Budget friendly as chicken thighs are generally quite cheap
What’s Peri Peri then?
Peri Peri which gives this recipe its name is a chilli pepper also known as African Bird’s Eye Chilli which is grown throughout South Africa.
You can find Peri Peri Sauce, Salt, Seasoning, glaze and a myriad other products online and in supermarkets. Nandos do an extensive Peri Peri seasoning range which is available on Amazon.
Peri Peri Marinade
In this homemade Nandos, the meat is mixed with a peri peri marinade overnight. Actually, they marinate their chicken for a full 24 hours so the longer the better! I usually aim for at least 6-12 hours.
Simply mix together chilli flakes, smoked paprika, garlic powder, dried oregano, salt, pepper brown sugar with the juice of two limes and a little olive oil.
Control the level of heat in the marinade by adjusting how many chilli flakes you add. One teaspoon will add a tolerable level of heat, a bit of a tingle on the tongue.
This is just right for me and my husband but if you are serving spice averse kids (or grown ups!) adjust the level of heat accordingly!
Which Chicken Cut is best?
Peri Peri chicken (which also goes by Piri Piri Chicken, confusingly) is usually served with the skin on and it can be a full chicken (usually butterflied so it cooks faster), chicken thighs, chicken breast etc.
I have used skinless chicken thighs to keep the recipe suitable for Slimming World – you can use skin on and bone in chicken thighs, for extra flavour, if you prefer. Sadly, much as I love crispy chicken skin, it is loaded with all the calories 🙁
My kids love drumsticks, so I usually make the chicken thigh skewers for me and the chicken legs for them.
Butterflied chicken breast also works well in this recipe and cooks super fast too! I prefer to pan fry chicken butterfly as it can quickly dry out if cooked in the oven.
Always make sure that chicken is cooked until it registers 75C /165F on a digital thermometer.
What to Serve with Nandos Chicken
I like to cook my peri chicken on a rack so that the juices drop down to a colourful bed of sliced bell peppers, infusing them with spicy smoky flavour!
The peppers are delicious served with the chicken on a bed of spicy rice, with some sweetcorn on the side!
You can also serve this with spicy potato wedges, jacket potatoes, corn on the cob or simply a salad if you want to keep it light.
Peri Peri Chicken
Peri Peri Marinade
- 2 tbsp olive oil , see notes for Slimming version
- 1 tbsp brown sugar or Sukrin Gold sweetener
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp chilli flakes (or to taste)
- 1 tsp garlic powder or granules
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 lime , juice and zest
- 1 lemon , juice and zest
- 4 drumsticks
- 8 chicken thighs , skinless
- 3 bell peppers (one each yellow, orange and red), sliced
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
Marinate the chicken
- Mix all the ingredients for the marinade in a ceramic or glass bowl or container.
- Add the chicken and rub the marinade over the pieces to coat.
- Cover the bowl and chill overnight in the fridge or for up to 24 hours.
Cook the chicken
- Preheat the oven to 200C (400F).
- Slice the peppers, if using, and spread over a baking tray.
- Tread the chicken thighs on metal skewers (discard any marinade).
- Set a rack over the peppers and add the chicken pieces.
- Cook for 25-30 minutes or until the chicken is 75C / 165 F when checked with a digital thermometer.
- Serve the chicken over a bed of rice with sliced peppers and lime wedges on the side.
- For a Slimming World version, replace the sugar with sweetener and leave out the olive oil. Mist the chicken with olive oil cooking spray (you can simply add olive oil to a small spray bottle) prior to cooking.
- Increase the heat by adding more chilli flakes to the marinade
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