Peri Peri chicken (or piri-piri chicken) is a spicy Portuguese chicken recipe marinated with chili, garlic, lemon, and herbs. It is a popular menu at Nando’s restaurant. Grill or broil for a simple dinner. It’s naturally gluten-free!

This Portuguese Peri-Peri Chicken is a homemade version of Nando's chicken.

Some says Peri-Peri chicken and the others say Piri-Piri chicken. This spicy Portuguese Chicken is quite addictive.

I first had the Peri-Peri Chicken at the South African franchise restaurant called Nando’s and loved it. The spicy peri-peri (or piri-piri) sauce made with bird’s eye chili, garlic, herbs, and lemon awakens your tongue and quickly salivates all over inside your mouth.

Although the sauce itself has its origin marked at Portugal, it is widely used in African countries like Angola, Mozambique, and South Africa.

The spiciness of peri-peri sauce can be adjusted by the amount of chilies, or even using less spicy kind of chilies.

The best way to cook the Peri-Peri Chicken is to GRILL them. For not having an out door grill in my high rise cosmopolitan kitchen, I baked it in the oven instead. It came out great but, of course, the smoky grilled flavor would have been even better. If you have a BBQ grill, use it!

Homemade Peri-Peri Sauce

The sauce can be made in less than 5 minutes, and all you need to do is to marinade chicken ahead of time. You will love this chicken, if you can bear the heat!

Ingredients for marinading peri-peri sauce.

Here are the sauce ingredients. I mixed two kinds of chilies to reduce some heat (bird’s eye is too spicy for me). Yes, I am a WIMP!

If you want the suicidal heat…, go for 10 or even 15 of these tiny bird’s eye chilies.

Spicy Portuguese Chicken Recipe Instruction

Chili and other ingredient for peri-peri sauce is combined in a mini blender.

Put all the peri-peri sauce ingredients in a blender.

peri-peri sauce is pureed in a small blender.

Blend until very smooth.

Chicken legs are coated with peri peri sauce marinade,

Pour 1/3 cup of sauce over chicken legs and spread all over. I scored chicken so the flavor will penetrate better to the meat. Marinade at least 1 hr. Overnight is even better.

Chicken legs marinated with peri peri sauce is getting ready to bake.

Place them on a pan lined with foil (Spray the pan with oil before you place the chicken).

peri-peri sauce is brushed to roasted chicken legs

Bake them in an hot oven (425F) for 20-25minutes, baste with more sauce as you turn the chickens to the other side.

peri-peri chicken are roasted in the oven

Looks delicious! Salivating as I know how they will taste…

I served my families these Peri-Peri Chicken with potato, corn, and roasted pepper salad. I drizzle a little more peri-peri sauce over the chicken to knock them out.

Well, everyone survived and finished the chicken off to the bone. Dinner was done and the clean up was a breeze!

Now I have to come up with what to serve for tomorrow night.

Portuguese Piri-Piri Chicken is served with potato corn salad.
This Portuguese Peri-Peri Chicken is a homemade version of Nando's chicken.

Peri Peri Chicken (Spicy Portuguese Chicken)

Portuguese Peri Peri chicken (or piri-piri chicken) is one of the popular menu at Nando's restaurant. Marinade with chili, garlic, lemon, and herbs. Grill or broil for a yummy dinner. Gluten-free.
5 from 4 ratings


  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4-10 bird’s eye chili, depends on the heat level of your choice
  • 4 cloves garlic, or 1 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder for a thicker consistency
  • juice of 1 lemon, about 1/4 cup
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 4 chicken legs
  • extra sea salt, optional


  • In a blender combine everything except the chicken and the extra salt, blend until very smooth.
  • Score chicken legs with a knife a few times.
  • Pour 1/3 cup of the sauce over chicken and toss well. I sprinkle a few dashes of extra salt on top of chicken. Marinade the chicken at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
  • Grill the chicken on an outdoor BBQ grill. Baste the chicken with the extra sauce. Cook until they are the juice runs clear when you insert a knife to the thickest part of chicken leg.
  • To bake, preheat the oven to 425ºF
  • Place chicken on a baking pan lined with foil, spray with oil,and place chicken. Bake for 15 minutes, turn over, baste with extra sauce, and continue to bake for another 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked and browned. Serve with extra sauce on the side.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @beyondkimchee on Instagram. I love to see your masterpiece.