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Peri-Peri Chicken

Peri-Peri Chicken

Course Meal
Keyword Peri-Peri Pepper
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 352kcal


  • 4 whole chicken legs

The citrus marinade

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice approximately the juice from one lemon
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and finely mashed
  • 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon paprika more for coloring than flavoring

The peri-peri sauce – made in a flash with a food processor

  • 6 red peri-peri chilies You might need a couple more – just take a moment to check my comments in the directions for making the sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice approximately the juice from one lemon


The citrus marinade and prep

  • Thoroughly stir the marinade ingredients in a bowl big enough to fit the chicken legs. Add the legs and give them a good coating of marinade. Set aside – but not in the fridge – and leave while you continue the prep.
  • Set your oven’s top and bottom elements so it heats to 325⁰ Fahrenheit (160⁰ Celsius).
  • While the oven’s heating and legs marinating, make the peri-peri sauce.

Making the peri-peri sauce

  • Put all the sauce ingredients into a food processor. Process until smooth. The chilies won’t disintegrate completely but will be finely chopped. That’s fine.
  • Now taste the sauce for heat. Not enough? Add a few more roughly chopped chilies and process the sauce again. Remember that it will lose some heat as it cooks with the chicken.
  • Remove the legs from the marinade. In a suitably large roasting pan, arrange them in a single layer.
  • Now add whatever marinade remains to the sauce in your processor, give it a combining whizz and pour it all into a bowl. It’s ready to meet the chicken.

Cooking the chicken: roast first, broil second

  • Use half the sauce to coat the legs all over. Now - and this is important - cover the roasting pan with a tightly sealed layer of tin foil. At this point, you don’t want the chicken getting direct heat.
  • Place the covered pan onto the middle shelf of your pre-heated oven. The legs are going to roast there for a total of 30 minutes with a basting half-way through.
  • After 15 minutes roasting, remove the pan, take off the foil and give the legs a good basting all over with the sauce in the pan. Replace the foil and put the pan back in the oven for a final ten mi to 15 minutes of roasting.
  • When the 30-minute roast is done, take out the roasting pan then turn on your oven’s broiler to high.
  • As your broiler heats, remove the foil from the chicken and give it an all-over basting with the pan’s sauce. If there’s not enough in the pan, not to worry. Half the sauce is still in your bowl - use a little to finish basting.
  • You now move into a baste, broil, baste, broil routine. As soon as the broiler is hot, put the uncovered roasting pan back in the oven – still middle shelf. And watch it. As soon as the sauce starts bubbling and darkening on the chicken, turn the chicken and give it an all-over basting. This baste-and-broil routine will take about five minutes under a hot grill.
  • Now, remove the pan, pour the remaining sauce around – rather than over - the chicken, and get the pan back under that hot grill. As soon as the sauce starts bubbling, the cooking’s done. You’re ready to serve your peri-peri chicken.


For full flavor, you’ll need thigh and drumstick with bone-in, skin on. Each big enough to satisfyingly serve one person. Alternatively, buy eight smaller ones. Depends who you’re feeding... And if you can’t find whole legs, an equal mix of thighs and drums is fine.


Calories: 352kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 120mg | Sodium: 2436mg | Potassium: 313mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 980IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg