Marinated Peri Peri Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks dish is an oven baked version of Portuguese flame-grilled PERi-PERi chicken, yet it still looks like grilled chicken! The chicken is marinated in the absolutely delicious homemade sauce that consists of fresh lemon, garlic, orange juice, paprika and red pepper flakes and then baked in the oven for a crispy finish. And if it’s summer where you are and you love grilling, why not throw this Peri Peri Chicken on the grill!
What is Peri Peri Chicken?
Peri Peri Chicken flavors is spicy dish with a plethora of Portugal/Mozambique/Cape Town flavors thanks to the Portuguese settlers in Africa that brought Bird Eye Chile peppers (or Peri Peri peppers) with them.
Peri Peri chicken was originally famous only in Spain and Portugal, where it’s also known as Piri Piri chicken. But thanks to the international restaurant chain Nando, this amazing dish is now popular across the globe.
How long to marinate Peri Peri Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks
The chicken thighs and drumsticks should be marinated for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight for best results and flavor.
The marinade is prepared by combining minced garlic, juice and zest of 1 fresh lemon, orange juice, paprika and of course red pepper flakes to provide the kick of heat of Nando’s Peri Peri Chili pepper.
I made the marinade by whisking all the ingredients together. but they can also be made into a paste in the food processor.
What kind of chili pepper to use in Peri Peri Chicken
In this recipe I use red pepper flakes to provide the heat of the “peri peri” chili pepper, also known as bird eye chili pepper or Thai chili pepper.
Since I use only 1/2 teaspoon of red chili pepper flakes and sweet paprika, the resulting marinade listed in this recipe is not too spicy. I prefer it to not be very strong so that all the family (including kids) can eat.
The heat level of the Peri Peri Chicken marinade can be easily adjusted by increasing or reducing red chili pepper flake amount and by using hot instead of sweet paprika.
What skillet to use for Oven Baked Peri Peri Chicken
You will need an oven proof skillet, such as this 12 inch modern design cast iron pan:
I used a skillet here as opposed to sheet pan because I browned the chicken on the stove top first in order to get the skin browned and crispy look of the grilled chicken. However, if you prefer to use a sheet pan, that will still produce a wonderful crispy chicken, but the grilled look might not be there.
Another important step to remember is to sprinkle fresh paprika on the marinated chicken pieces before searing them (do so if using sheet pan as well). Doing so will ensure a nice color and crust on the skin.
How to grill Peri Peri Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks
Since summer is around the corner, grilling Peri Peri Chicken is a no brainer! Simply clean and oil your grill and preheat it to 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat.
Remove chicken thighs and drumsticks from the marinade and place them on your grill skin side up. Let them cook for 10 minutes, then flip over and cook for another 10 minutes. And while you have your grill going, grill some veggies too (I’m thinking bell peppers, onions and corn).
After all, there is no easier or healthier dinner than throwing some chicken and veggies on the grill!
Hungry for more oven roasted chicken thigh recipes? Below are two recipes with easy to follow instructions and lots of flavor:
Marinated Peri Peri Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks dish is an oven baked version of Portuguese flame-grilled PERi-PERi chicken, yet it still looks like grilled chicken! The chicken is marinated in lemon, garlic, orange juice, paprika and red pepper flakes and then baked in the oven for a crispy finish. And if it’s summer where you are, go ahead and throw this Peri Peri Chicken on the grill!
- 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 1 lemon (juice and zest)
- 2 tbsp orange juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tsp sweet paprika
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp Oregano
- 2 lb chicken thighs and drumsticks (skin on, bone in)
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Parsley (for garnish)
Prepare the marinade by mixing minced garlic, lemon juice, orange juice and olive oil together with a whisk. Add lemon zest, sweet paprika, black pepper, red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning. Whisk everything together.
Pour the marinade into a plastic bowl or large ziplock bag. Add chicken thighs and drumsticks to the bag with marinade. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or preferable overnight.
Pre-heat the oven to 400ºF. Sprinkle paprika on top of the chicken skin (this will create a nice color on the skin).
Preheat an oven proof skillet, such as cast iron and add 2 tablespoons butter. Once the butter is melted and the skillet is hot, add chicken skin side down and cook undisturbed on medium high heat for 4 minutes or until chicken is nicely browned.
Flip chicken over (skin side up) and move the skillet to the oven. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 400 F. Remove from the oven, ensure that the chicken is cooked through. Garnish with parsley.