Peri-Peri Chicken has become an extremely popular dish in the UK in the last decade or so, which has been thanks in no small part due to the popularity of the restaurant chain Nandos. I don’t know what it is about Nandos specifically, but their restaurants are always busy and I’ve seen queues come out of the doors before. That’s not bad for somewhere where you have to go up and order the food yourself and get your own cutlery.
It’s no surprise really that a chain like Nandos is popular because Peri-Peri Chicken is a wonderful dish. But like anything you can make a Peri-Peri Chicken dish at home which is as good as, if not better, than anything you can get from a fast food chain, which is what Nando’s is, albeit slightly more upmarket than a KFC or Maccy D’s.
This recipe allows you to make Peri-Peri Chicken using a whole chicken and it’ll only take 45 minutes. This is because, instead of cooking the bird whole, we’ll be spatchcocking it to make it a hell of a lot quicker to cook. While this is a fairly mild Peri-Peri, you can always ramp up the heat by adding more chillies or some hot sauce to the marinade. Use this recipe as a starting point and add to it and tailor it to your tastes – remember, a recipe is a guide, not a rule book!
Peri-Peri ChickenPrint Recipe
- 1 Whole Chicken
- 100ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 25ml Red Wine Vinegar
- 2 x Shallots
- 2 x Red Chillies
- 3 x Cloves of Garlic
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 Lemon, Juiced (and ¼ of the peel)
- A few sprigs of Thyme
Firstly, spatchcock your chicken by laying the bird on it's front and, using a pair of strong kitchen or poultry shears, remove the spine by cutting down either side of it, and then open up the bird - still breast-side down - and then cut between where the breasts of the chicken are to loosen the cartilage there, allowing you to lay the chicken flat. To make this 100% clear, I would suggest watching this video, which details the process really well.
Once you've spatchcocked your chicken, lay it into a large dish or tray and place it to one side while you make the marinade for it.
Peel the garlic, and then slice the chillies and peel and chop the shallots into large chunks - you don't have to be even, just chop them enough so that they can be easily processed.
Place the garlic, chillies and shallots into a food processor. Now, before you juice the lemon, use a peeler and remove about a quarter of the lemon peel - avoiding the pith - and place to one side. Then juice the lemon and place the peel and juice into the food processor.
Next, add the sprigs of thyme, red wine vinegar , olive oil and salt into the food processor and place on the lid and blitz it as fine as you possibly can.
Now pour the marinade over your spatchcock chicken and rub it into the skin well. Then cover the dish in cling film and leave to marinade in the fridge for 1 hour.
Preheat an oven to 200°C (180°C fan)/400°F/Gas Mark 6.
After an hour, remove the chicken from the fridge and take off the cling film. Place into the oven and cook for 30 minutes.
After the 30 minutes are up, turn the oven down to 180°C (160°C fan)/400°F/Gas Mark 4 and cook for a further 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 5-10 minutes, and then serve with fries, your favourite side dishes and any additional sauces you fancy.