South African Peri Peri Chicken

Amarachi Irobi
Amarachi Irobihttp://@Amara_ii
My name is Amarachi Irobi, a content writer and food lover who loves to explore traditional African cuisine.
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Peri-Peri chicken is a spicy chicken dish, also known as Piri Piri Chicken was introduced in Angola and Mozambique when the Portuguese settlers came with Chili Peppers or what they call, Piri Piri in Swahili.

What makes peri peri chicken so delicious is its central ingredient — the African bird’s eye chili.  This Peri Peri chicken is certainly a mouthwatering chicken recipe that is amazingly good whether it’s grilled or baked. This tender and juicy Peri-Peri chicken recipe is best served with steamed rice or dinner rolls. 

What is Peri Peri Chicken?

It’s a delicious South African chicken recipe that features chicken simmering in a spiced sauce of onion and lemons. The chicken is marinated in Peri-Peri Sauce (a blend of chilies, lemon, olive oil, herbs, and spices) along with other seasonings before grilling them.

Is Peri-Peri Portuguese or African?

The Peri-Peri is a flame-grilled chicken with African and Portuguese origins. It’s not clear who first created the now-iconic dish and the subject remains hotly debated between Portuguese-Angolans and Portuguese-Mozambicans.

Peri-Peri is an important part of Mozambique’s history, as the sauce reflects the blend of cultures present in the country for centuries. Peri-Peri chicken eventually made its way across the border to South Africa, but it all started in Mozambique.

Is Peri-Peri Healthy?

Peri-Peri is rich in vitamins and minerals — and holds metabolism-enhancing and curative properties. The green variety is packed with Vitamin C. The red genre has more Vitamin A than fresh carrot — and sun-drying increases the carotene content.

Is There a Difference Between Peri-Peri and Piri-Piri?

Piripiri, peri-peri or peli-peli is the name used in Portuguese and a number of African languages to describe the African bird’s-eye chili. The variations in spelling derive from the various pronunciations of the word in parts of Africa, although ‘piri-piri’ is the correct spelling in Portuguese.

Best Chicken to Use For Peri-Peri

You can make this recipe with any cut of chicken. Pick your favorite part, bone-in or boneless chicken breast, chicken thighs, wings, you name it, or mix it up and make peri-peri chicken with a whole chicken. With a few ingredients and a few hours to spare, you can now enjoy peri-peri original with a tender and juicy goodness perfect for lunch or dinner. It’ll be more amazing if you can marinate your chicken overnight for the best-tasting flame-grilled chicken.

What to Eat With Peri-Peri Chicken

Serve it up with your favorite vegetable sides, or serve it over rice for a more complete meal. Peri Peri Chicken pairs with a big variety of side dishes.

Peri-Peri Chicken Recipe Variations

  • Baked Peri Peri Chicken – if you’re too lazy to grill, you can just bake them at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 35-40 minutes. Or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Peri-Peri Chicken Bowl – Serve your chicken on top of a warm Cajun Rice or Jamaican Rice and Peas for the ultimate comfort food combo.
  • Piri Piri Pasta – Seafood blend and sausage in a spicy peri peri-based sauce served on top of fettucini pasta. Just wow!

More chicken recipes;

South African Piri-Piri Chicken

Course Main Dish
Cuisine South African


  • Juice of two lemons
  • 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts


  • In a large bowl, whisk together everything except for the chicken.
  • Add the chicken and toss with tongs to coat in the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or at least three hours.
  • When ready to cook, preheat your oven to 176 degrees Celsius. Heat an oven-save skillet over medium-high heat until very hot.
  • Use tongs to transfer the chicken breasts out of the bowl and into the pan, reserving the marinade.
  • Let cook for two or three minutes per side, until nice and browned.
  • Pour the reserved marinade into the pan and spoon the sauce onto the chicken.
  • Turn off the stove, and use oven mitts to transfer the pan to the pre-heated oven.
  • Let cook in oven for 15-20 minutes (depending on thickness of chicken breasts), or until cooked through.
Keyword Chicken
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Amarachi Irobi
Amarachi Irobihttp://@Amara_ii
My name is Amarachi Irobi, a content writer and food lover who loves to explore traditional African cuisine.

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