Info

All demo content is for sample purposes only, intended to represent a live site. Please use the RocketLauncher to install an equivalent of the demo, all images will be replaced with sample images.

8 April 2020

This peri peri chicken recipe smothers chicken in a homemade peri peri sauce then bakes or grills them and serves them with extra sauce. It’s a quick and easy weeknight meal. 

I had a crazy hankering for peri peri sauce for some reason – does that ever happen to you? – and I ran across a pack of chicken legs at the grocery store that were on sale, so as the story typically goes…

BOOM!

Peri Peri Chicken it is!

What is Peri Peri Chicken?

Peri Peri Chicken is a flavorful meal of any cut of chicken that is marinated in and also served with a homemade peri peri sauce, a hot pepper sauce from south Africa. If you’ve never enjoyed south African Peri Peri Chicken, it’s definitely a treat, especially with chicken legs. I love the leg part of the chicken. They’re always tender and juicy, and they’re pretty darned easy to cook.

You can make this recipe with any cut of chicken, though. 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.

I like easy. I’m sure you do too!

Peri Peri Chicken Legs - Plated and ready to eat

There isn’t much work involved, just some mixing of the sauce and baking or grilling, depending on what I’m in the mood for. I’ll often whip together a sauce like this in the morning and marinate the chicken through the day.

When I’m ready to cook, I’ll just toss the chicken into the oven and let it do it’s thing. Easy weeknight meal!

Or hey, good for the weekend, too. They’re also good for game day gatherings. Instead of chicken wings, try these chicken legs instead. Watch them disappear. Check out some of my other Game Day Recipes.

Let’s talk about how we make this peri peri chicken, shall we?

Peri Peri Chicken Ingredients

  • FOR THE PERI PERI CHICKEN
  • 6 chicken legs
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • FOR THE PERI PERI MARINADE INGREDIENTS
  • 1 pound red chilies chopped – African Bird’s Eye peppers are traditional, but you can sub with red peppers available to you
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika you can sub in other chili powders
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil
  • 1/2 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • Salt to taste (and black pepper, if desired)
  • FOR SERVING: Chopped parsley, spicy chili flakes

How to Make Peri Peri Chicken – The Recipe Method

First, pat the chicken legs dry and rub them down with the paprika, garlic, and salt and pepper. Cover and set aside.

Heat your oven to 400 degrees F.

For the peri peri sauce, add the peppers, garlic, paprika, cilantro and basil to a food processor. Process until well mixed.

Peri Peri Sauce in a Mixer

Drizzle in the olive oil while continuing to process until the mixture thickens up.

Peri Peri Sauce in a blender, adding olive oil

Stir in the lemon juice and adjust for salt. 

Looks good, doesn’t it? I love this sauce.

Peri Peri Sauce in a bowl

Use half of the peri peri sauce to cover the chicken. Toss them together to get the chicken legs nicely coated.

You can cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour at this point if you’d like more developed flavor. You can marinate them for 24 hours for deeper flavor penetration.

Peri Peri Chicken Legs - Marinating

Bake the chicken for 35-40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. They should measure 165 degrees F internally when measured with a meat thermometer. I like to use my ThermoPop meat thermometer from ThermoWorks (I’m an affiliate). Works great! Cooking time can vary, so be sure to check your temperatures. 

For Grilling, Fire up the grill to medium heat and lightly oil the grates. Grill the chicken legs for about 35-40 minutes, turning them every 5 minutes to keep from burning, until they are cooked through. They should measure 165 degrees F internally.

Remove from the oven or grill and toss in the remaining peri peri sauce.

Sprinkle with fresh herbs and spicy chili flakes. Serve! So good baked in the oven.

Makes 6 legs, so get eating! That’s it, my friends! Peri Peri Chicken Legs. I hope you enjoy them.

Here are some answers to other questions I’ve received about making this peri peri chicken recipe.

What Does Peri Peri Chicken Taste Like?

Peri Peri Chicken is highly flavorful and just a bit spicy from the peri peri sauce, though it is not an overpowering heat. You’ll enjoy a blooming warmth along with touches of chilies, garlic and herbs.

About the Peri Peri Sauce

Peri Peri Sauce is a traditional African sauce made from African Bird’s Eye chili peppers. No worries if you don’t have access to African Bird’s Eye chili peppers. It isn’t like everyone has them laying around, right? 

Bird's eye peppers

If you haven’t grown them or can’t find them, use any red peppers of your choice. So yes, you CAN make this with bell peppers just as easily as you can make these with the hottest peppers in the world. Carolina Reaper peri peri sauce, anyone?

Ouch! THAT would be crazy spicy. But to each his or her own!

At it’s core, peri peri sauce is a mix of chili peppers and garlic processed with certain seasonings and olive oil. The oil emulsifies the sauce a bit, adding a bit of airiness to the final sauce. Great stuff, truly.

It also goes by the names “Piri Piri Sauce”or “Pili Pili”. Just an FYI, so some people might call this recipe “piri piri chicken” or even “pili pili chicken”.

Peri Peri Sauce Recipe

Learn more about Peri Peri Sauce (including a recipe) here.

What is Peri Peri Used For?

Peri Peri sauce can be used be used as either a marinade or a finishing sauce on any type of protein, from chicken and pork to cuts of beef and seafood. Try it also with vegetables.

What Should I Serve 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.

Try These Other Popular Recipes

Peri Peri Chicken Legs - On a plate with extra peri peri sauce on the side

If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

Peri Peri Chicken Legs - Recipe
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Peri Peri Chicken Recipe

This peri peri chicken recipe smothers chicken in a homemade peri peri sauce then bakes or grills them and serves them with extra sauce. It's a quick and easy weeknight meal. 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken legs, peri peri, spicy
Servings: 6 chicken legs
Calories: 498kcal

Ingredients

  • 6 chicken legs
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

FOR THE PERI PERI SAUCE

  • pound  red chilies chopped – African Bird’s Eye peppers are traditional, but you can sub with red peppers available to you
  • cloves  garlic chopped
  • teaspoon  smoked paprika you can sub in other chili powders
  • 1/2  cup  chopped cilantro
  • 1/4  cup  chopped basil
  • 1/2  cup  olive oil or vegetable oil
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • Salt to taste
  • FOR SERVING: Chopped parsley, spicy chili flakes

Instructions

  • Pat the chicken legs dry and rub them down with the paprika, garlic, and salt and pepper. Cover and set aside.
  • Heat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  • For the peri peri sauce, add the peppers, garlic, paprika, cilantro and basil to a food processor. Process until well mixed.
  • Drizzle in the olive oil while continuing to process until the mixture thickens up.
  • Stir in the lemon juice and adjust for salt.
  • Use half of the peri peri sauce to cover the chicken. Toss them together to get the chicken legs nicely coated. You can cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour at this point if you’d like more developed flavor.
  • FOR BAKING: Bake the chicken for 35-40 minutes, or until they are nicely cooked through. They should measure 165 degrees F internally.
  • FOR GRILLING: Fire up the grill to medium heat and lightly oil the grates. Grill the chicken legs for about 35-40 minutes, turning them every 5 minutes to keep from burning, until they are cooked through. They should measure 165 degrees F internally.
  • Remove from the oven and toss in the remaining peri peri sauce.
  • Sprinkle with fresh herbs and spicy chili flakes. Serve!

Notes

NOTES: If you’d like a more developed peri peri flavor, cover the chicken and set it into the fridge once you’ve coated them with the first round of peri peri sauce. You can also marinate it this way overnight.
The peri peri sauce yields about 2 cups.
Heat Factor: Medium, though the heat and spic levels will vary based on the peppers you choose.

Nutrition

Calories: 498kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 119mg | Sodium: 127mg | Potassium: 697mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 3670IU | Vitamin C: 116.2mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 2.9mg

NOTE: This recipe was updated on 4/8/20 to include new information. It was originally published on 9/21/18.

Peri Peri Chicken

2 comments

  1. 5 stars
    The peri peri sauce is great stuff. Nice little kick to it. You can add other peppers, right? If you wanted a bit more kick?

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Edward, you can definitely try other peppers with this recipe. It’s very versatile. Let me know how it turns out for you.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

2K Shares
Pin2K
Share63
Yum29
Tweet
Email