Baked Peri Peri Chicken

A little sweet, a little heat, and a whole lotta lemon.

I’ve never been to Nando’s (yet) but I’m a big fan of their bottled Peri-Peri sauces. It’s a hot pepper sauce with a whole lotta flavor. Unlike some popular hot sauce brands – which rely heavily on cayenne and vinegar  – Peri-Peri sauce typically combines the African Bird’s Eye chile with garlic, lemon (oh so much lemon), onion, vinegar, and other spices for an incredibly vibrant, tangy, fresh citrus forward sauce.

It makes a great choice for marinades, dipping sauces, and as you can see here, baking chicken. Taking the base recipe of the Nashville Hot Baked Chicken, we’re reworked the finer details to create a delightfully delicious Nando’s Peri-Peri-inspired baked chicken recipe. The chicken is marinated in some pickle and buttermilk brine and then coated in breadcrumbs before being baked to crispy perfection. In the final few minutes, each piece is generously brushed with a heaping helping of the lemony hot sauce and put back in the oven to crisp up a final time before meal time.

Recipe Notes: While the recipe calls for a classic buttermilk and pickle brine marinade, it’s only now that I’m realizing you probably can just pick up an extra bottle of Nando’s Peri-Peri sauce and just let the chicken sit in some of that, then follow the rest of the steps for some incredibly flavorful baked chicken.

Time You Need

  • ~4 hours marinating
  • ~20 minutes prep
  • ~45-50 minutes cooking
  • Serves: 4-6 people

What You Need

  • 4-5 chicken drumsticks
  • 4-5 chicken thighs
  • 2 cups of buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup of pickle brine
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 2 bottle of Nando’s Peri Peri sauce, flavor of choice
  • For the breading:
  • 2 ½ cups of unflavored panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp of corn starch
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup of ap flour
  • 3 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

What You Do

  • Get out a big old bowl and add the buttermilk, pickle brine, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and garlic salt. Whisk together, then add in the chicken drumsticks and thighs. Cover in plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for four hours.
  • Once the time is up, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Then take another bowl and add breadcrumbs, corn starch, flour, baking powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and onion powder and mix evenly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Once the chicken is done soaking up all that buttermilk, remove from the brine and pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Working one at a time, toss the chicken in the flour/breadcrumb mixture to get a nice even breading on all sides. Shake off the excess and set the finished piece on a greased wire oven rack over a baking sheet. Repeat for the rest of the chicken. Let the chicken sit out on the rack for about 10-15 minutes to help dry it out and let the breading set.
  • Roast the chicken at 400 degrees for about 50 minutes, or until thoroughly cooked (internal temps of 165).
  • After chicken is done, remove from oven and liberally brush each and every piece on all sides with the peri peri sauce. Return the chicken back to the oven and let sit for five minutes, then take back out and let cool.
  • Serve with extra sauce and enjoy!
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