My peri peri chicken recipe is easy to prepare and cooks quickly. It’s a delicious, healthy dish which is great for dinner or lunches, with or without sides.
As I’ve discussed in other articles, I often batch cook an entire pack of chicken thighs on Sundays. This means my lunches for part of the week are sorted.
Peri Peri Chicken Recipe
2 tbsp of vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tbsp ground paprika
1-2 tsp chilli powder (eg cayenne, chipotle or others. Add more or less depending on if you can handle spicy food)
1 tbsp oregano
1 unwaxed lemon, zested and juiced
2 garlic cloves, crushed*
2 tbsp tomato puree
Pinch of salt and pepper
Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl. I generally use a hand blender to get it into a ketchup-like texture but it is fine not to; just use a spoon if that’s all you have and mix thoroughly. A NutriBullet or other food processor would do the trick, too.
Experiment with the spices and their respective quantities. Add things like fresh chopped chilli peppers, coriander/cilantro, fresh ginger or whatever you want; make it work for you.
My recipe produces enough marinade to easily cover 12 chicken thighs.*
*Diet hack 1: use frozen garlic to save chopping.
*Diet hack 2: if you are only cooking a couple a pieces of chicken, set aside some marinade and keep in the fridge for up to a week. You can use the marinade later in the week for another meal.
12 boneless chicken thighs
Add the chicken to the marinade bowl and, using your hands, mix until each piece of chicken is covered in marinade.
If you can, combine the chicken and the marinade the day before cooking and, after covering the bowl in clingfilm or tin foil, leave in the fridge overnight. I’ve found even a few hours of marinating makes a noticeable difference to the end product but it is still lovely if you mix and put the chicken straight into the oven.
Turn your oven onto a medium-hot setting and put a baking tray in. After about 10-15 minutes of preheating, remove the baking tray and spread your chicken over it.
Here’s where it gets personal; a lot will depend on your oven.
I put the oven on the warmest setting (gas mark 9 / 245°C / 475°F), add the chicken and set a timer for 10 minutes (“Alexa! Set a timer for 10 minutes.”).
Once the 10 minutes are up, I check the chicken and turn the oven down (gas mark 4 / 180°C/350°F). I set another timer for 25 minutes.
After checking if the chicken looks good, it’s ready to serve immediately or to set aside and allow to cool for lunches.
Each of our ovens are different so what works for me might need to be tweaked slightly for you. If in doubt, keep the oven on a medium setting and cook the chicken for at least 30 minutes.
Ideas for Sides
I generally use boneless chicken thighs to make my peri peri chicken. I prefer the flavour of thighs to breasts and I’m not a massive fan of the bones in wings and drumsticks. That said, there is no reason why the marinade can’t be used on different types of chicken and cooked in different ways.
This will taste great under the grill, on the barbecue or chopped into smaller pieces and fried in a pan.
It comes down to personal preferences and how much time and attention you want to pay to the process. Oven cooking is fairly hands off; other methods are slightly more involved.
I was inspired by several different peri peri chicken recipes, together with my own experience of marinating and cooking chicken over the years. The best, and easiest, other recipe I’ve found so far is by Fitter Food.
Experiment with ingredients, quantities and cooking methods, like I’ve done. You’ll end up with something you can call your own which is easy to prepare, tastes delicious and allows you to show off your culinary skills to family and friends.
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