piri piri chicken
South African Style Peri Peri Chicken with Peri Peri Sauce
Prep Time
4 hrs 30 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
4 hrs 50 mins

Try this easy South African style Peri Peri Chicken that will become a summer BBQ favourite! Adjust the level of heat according to your taste and learn how to spatchcock chicken the easy way. 

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: South African
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 652 kcal
Author: Tamara at Foodieverse
  • 1.8 Kg whole chicken
Peri Peri Marinade
  • 3 red chillies (reduce for less heat)
  • 1 green chilli
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 red capsicum (red bell pepper)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika (or normal paprika)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp parsley
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp fresh oregano (or 1/2 tsp dried)
Peri Peri Sauce
  • 3 tbsp reserved marinade
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp sugar
How to spatchcock chicken
  1. Lay the chicken flat on a surface, legs down. 

  2. Hold the neck and cut next to the backbone with a pair of scissors.

  3. Cut all the way down till the end of backbone.

  4. Cut the other side of backbone and reserve backbone for chicken stock (freeze for later use).

  5. Push open the chicken, turn around and lay flat with the legs to the side.

Peri Peri Chicken
  1. Combine all marinade ingredients in a food processor and blend well. 

  2. Reserve 3 tbsp of marinade and brush remaining marinade on both sides of the chicken. 

  3. Refrigerate 4 hours to overnight for juicy, well marinated, tender chicken.

  4. Fire up your grill or heat grill pan. 

  5. Place breast side up. Grill for 10 minutes.

  6. Flip over with breast side down. Cook 25-30 minutes.

  7. Flip over once more and grill for another 5 minutes.

  8. Quarter chicken while still hot and cut apart wing pieces as well. 

Peri Peri Sauce
  1. Add reserved marinade, water and sugar to a saucepan and bring to boil.

  2. Taste and adjust according to your taste (more sugar if you like less heat).

  3. Cook for 2 minutes and remove.

  4. Blend sauce if you want it smooth, I leave it as is. 

Recipe Notes
  1. Reduce amount of chilli used if you prefer less heat. Or substitute chili with another capsicum for a mild marinade.
  2. Absolute minimum time to marinade chicken is 2 hours. 4 hours is good but overnight is best. 
  3. Keep windows open if grilling indoors as the fumes can make you cough.
  4. Adjust grilling time according to the size of chicken - 1.8Kg (4 lb) chicken is medium sized and requires around 40-45 minutes to cook without going dry.
Nutrition Facts
South African Style Peri Peri Chicken with Peri Peri Sauce
Amount Per Serving (350 g)
Calories 652 Calories from Fat 387
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 43g 66%
Saturated Fat 10g 50%
Cholesterol 162mg 54%
Sodium 781mg 33%
Potassium 679mg 19%
Total Carbohydrates 22g 7%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 16g
Protein 41g 82%
Vitamin A 51.5%
Vitamin C 120.6%
Calcium 5%
Iron 16.8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.