A delicious recipe for South African Piri-Piri chicken, featuring tender chicken breasts simmered in a spiced lemon and onion sauce. Easy and different!
So, what is Piri Piri Chicken?
Basically, it’s a delicious South African chicken recipe which features chicken simmering in a spiced sauce of onion and lemons.
It’s actually quite similar to the Poulet Yassa recipe I wrote about here, and even easier to make!
Just whisk together some spices, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, olive oil, and chopped onion in a large bowl. Add the chicken, give it a toss, and put it in the fridge to marinate.
When you’re ready to cook, heat a skillet over medium-high heat, brown the chicken on both sides, pour in the reserved marinade and then transfer to a hot oven to simmer and bubble until the chicken is done.
So easy, right?
You’ll want to use a pan that is safe to put in the oven. I highly recommend using a cast iron skillet for this piri piri chicken recipe, like this one that I use.
The spices are all totally normal things, too – nothing you would have a hard time finding in your own spice cabinet (or at the local grocery store).
This recipe calls for salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, chili powder, paprika, oregano, and ground ginger. Compared to a lot of the recipes I post, this is a VERY normal ingredient list.
The chicken piri piri comes out juice and tender, while the marinade cooks into a perfect little pan sauce. Serve with your grain or starch of choice and dig in!
Look at that delicious South African Piri-Piri Chicken!
Here’s the Recipe!
South African Piri-Piri Chicken Recipe
- Juice of two lemons
- 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion - roughly chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- 1 Tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 pounds boneless - skinless chicken breasts
- In a large bowl, whisk together everything except for the chicken. Add the chicken and toss with tongs to coat in the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or at least three hours.
- When ready to cook, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat a oven-save skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Use tongs to transfer the chicken breasts out of the bowl and into the pan, reserving the marinade. Let cook for two or three minutes per side, until nice and browned.
- Pour the reserved marinade into the pan and spoon the sauce onto the chicken. Turn off the stove, and use oven mitts to transfer the pan to the pre-heated oven.
- Let cook in oven for 15-20 minutes (depending on thickness of chicken breasts), or until cooked through.
I found this recipe years ago and thought I should finally leave a comment cause this has been our favourite dish ever since. So easy and it tastes amazing. We usually toss everything in the slow cooker for 4 hours then serve the pulled chicken and sauce over rice. I also skip the chili powder to have less heat and add in some fresh coriander. Not sure how authentically South African, or even Portuguese this is cause it doesn’t taste anything like the peri peri chicken I’ve had in either country, but it’s delicious anyway!
Made this last night and everyone loved it! I decreased both the Salt and Cayenne from 1 tsp to rounded half tsps, still had nice heat, it was perfect for us. Thank you for sharing!
I’m glad everyone loved it. Thanks for sharing your changes.