All over England I saw ads for this mysterious peri-peri (or piri-piri chicken). Restaurants boldly announced this dish on their posters and one in particular Nando’s seems to specialize in all things peri peri.
I had to get to the bottom of this.
Piri Piri is actually an African bird’s eye chili grown in East and Southern Africa but officially piri piri sauce hails from Portugal and is made from crushed chillies, citrus peel, onion, garlic, pepper, salt, lemon juice, bay leaves, paprika, pimiento, basil, oregano, and tarragon.
Sounds like a good mix of flavors to me.
Instead of trying this dish at one of the many establishments offering it I decided to make my own version at the apartment we were renting with my parents in Edinburgh. My parents’ visit consisted mostly of hotels and b&bs with only a few final days in an apartment so I was ready to get some good cooking in.
While backpacking does not allow the luxury of lugging around an entire spice cabinet I luckily found a pre mixed bag of peri peri spices at the local store.
With a few added fresh ingredients dinner would be on the table in no time.
After marinating in lemon juice and the spice mix the chicken is simply bursting with flavor with just a bit of heat. Perfect served with a side salad or rice.
Simple yet delicious chicken dish bursting with flavors and an extra kick.
15 minPrep Time
30 minCook Time
45 minTotal Time
- 1 packet peri peri spice mix (or make your own using paprika, garlic, onion, oregano, ground cumin, chili powder, thyme, chili flakes)
- 8 chicken thigh fillets (or mix of thighs and drumsticks, breasts, wings, etc)
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 inch piece of ginger, chopped
- 1 lemon, zested
- 5 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges (for serving)
- Wash and dry the chicken and score each piece several times. In a bowl combine chicken, and spice mix.
- Add garlic, ginger, lemon zest and salt. Mix.
- Add olive oil and lemon juice. Mix until chicken is thoroughly coated,
- Place in fridge for 1-2 hours (or more).
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a single layer place chicken on a roasting tray and cook for 15 minutes. Flip chicken over and cook for another 15 minutes or until cooked through.
- Serve with lemon wedges and salad.