Peri Peri Chicken
Difficulty level: Easy
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I'm sure most of us would agree that Nando's is the king of peri peri chicken. For a lot of people it outranks KFC which is something I never thought would happen. There’s something about chargrilled spicy chicken that makes us all go gaga for it.

You might find in my recipe that I use a lot of chillies but they tend to cook out. 4 chillies (for me) is around medium and 6 chillies is on the spicier side which I LOVE!  However, please adjust to your taste.

Prep Time
20 minutes
Cooking/Baking Time
45-60 minutes

For the chicken

½ red onion, peeled

3 red baby sweet peppers

3 garlic cloves, minced 

4-6 red bird’s eye chillies (or to taste), chopped (keeping the seeds)

1 ½ large lemons, juiced

½ tsp. white caster sugar

1 ½ tsp. smoked paprika

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 ½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground pepper

2 tbsp. hot water

4 tbsp. olive oil

8 pieces of chicken (can be a mix of drumsticks and breast meat)

For the rice

½ tsp. ground turmeric

¼ tsp. paprika

1 tsp. salt, plus more to taste

2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed

1 lb. long grain rice, washed and drained

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 green or red bird’s eye chillies, chopped (keeping the seeds if you like it spicy)

½ green bell pepper

½ red bell pepper

½ red onion

Pepper, to taste

To serve

Lemon wedges

  1. Preheat the oven to 180º Celsius. Place the onion and the peppers on a tray and roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until the peppers start to develop char spots. Remove from the oven. Once cool enough to handle, remove the stems from the peppers then cut in half lengthways to gently scrape away the seeds. Roughly chop the onion.
  2. In a frying pan over a medium to high heat, add 1 tbsp. oil. Once heated, add the garlic and chillies and cook for a minute whilst stirring frequently. Next, Add the roasted onions and peppers and stir for another minute. Add the lemon juice and stir. Add the sugar and the rest of the seasoning stirring well until all the vegetables have been fully coated by the seasoning. 
  3. Remove from the heat and transfer all the contents into a food blender. Deglaze the pan with the water making sure you get all the seasoning and any remaining bits, then add all the contents into the food blender along with 2 tbsp. olive oil. Blend the ingredients until you have a smooth paste. Transfer the ingredients into a bowl and leave to cool completely.
  4. Add the chicken into a large container. Rub in 3 heaped tbsp. of the marinade into the chicken. Cover with clingfilm and set aside for 30 minutes or leave in the fridge overnight (remembering to bring it back up to room temperature before cooking).
  5. Before you start to cook the chicken, cook the rice. Fill a large pot with water, place over a medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low to medium heat, then stir in the turmeric, paprika and garlic. Next add the rice, cover and cook for 20-30 minutes or until the rice is cooked. As the rice is cooking, place a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Next add the oil. Once heated add the chillies, peppers and onion and cook until softened. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat. Once the rice is cooked, drain the rice and set aside.
  6. If you’re using an oven: Preheat the oven to 180º Celsius. In a clean frying pan placed over a medium-high heat, add the last tbsp. of oil. Once the oil is heated, brown the chicken a batch at a time. Cook on either side for 3-5 minutes or until you have some char marks. (Avoid moving the chicken around as this can prevent the charring process). After frying, generously apply the marinade on either side of the chicken pieces and roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes until fully cooked or until the juices run clear when pierced with a knife. Remove from the oven and cover with foil to keep warm.
  7. If you’re using a BBQ: Make the sure the BBQ is at a steady heat – avoid harsh flames. Cook the chicken on the BBQ rotating and basting the chicken with the remaining marinade every 15 minutes until cooked. Remove from the BBQ and cover with foil to keep warm.
  8. Turn your attention back to the rice. Place the pan with the cooked peppers over a medium heat and add the cooked rice. Mix thoroughly so that the rice and peppers are combined. Stir occasionally to heat the rice and to avoid it sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  9. Serve the rice and chicken with lemon wedges and any additional side dishes. Enjoy!

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