If you love Nando’s, chicken and or a bit of zing and spice in your food, then this recipe is for you. I found this in an old BBC Good Food magazine (March 2013) and it is a real find.  I’ve changed the shop-bought Piri-piri in the original recipe, with a homemade one that I used from a Hairy Bikers recipe. It only requires a few ingredients and it’s really easy to make, however if you want to save yourself a bit of time you can always use shop bought one.

Piri-Piri Chicken with Tomato & Pepper Rice


Tip: If you have leftover cooked rice, you can use it instead of the rice in the recipe.

Serves 4 | Prep 15 minutes + 1hr to 24hr marinating | Cook 45 minutes | Easy | Gluten-Free

For the Piri-Piri marinade, you’ll need: (or you can use 6 tbsp from a bottle of mild, medium or hot Piri-Piri sauce instead)

  • 4 large red chillies, deseeded;
  • 2 red bird’s eye chillies, deseeded;
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and halved;
  • 20g bunch parsley with the stalkes;
  • 2 lemons, juices (about 65 ml);
  • 2 tbsp while wine vinegar;
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika;
  • 1 tsp oregano;
  • 1 tsp caster sugar;
  • 2 tsp flaked sea salt.

For the chicken & rice:

  • 1/2 cup uncooked rice OR 250g cooked rice;
  • 4 chicken drumsticks & 4 chicken thighs;
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil;
  • 2 peppers, finely diced;
  • 1 onion, finely diced;
  • 4 tbsp tomato puree;
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika.

First, make the marinade. Put all the marinade ingredients into a blender and blitz until everything is finely chopped and mixed well together. If you don’t have a blender, chop the chillies, garlic and herbs very finely and mix well with the rest of the ingredients.

Marinade the chicken. Slash each piece of chicken 3 times to the marinade can really flavour the meat. Rub the marinade all over the chicken and leave in a fridge to mariante for at least 1 hr and up to 24 hrs. The longer the better!

When ready to cook, heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/Gas 6. Arrange the chicken skin side up in a roasting tin and spoon over the marinade on top of it. Cook for 30 minutes, then increase the heat to 220C/200C fan/Gas 7 and cook for about 15 minutes until the skin has crisped up and the chicken has cooked through.

Meanwhile, make the rice. If you are using leftover rice you can skip until the next step. Cook 1/2 cup of rice according to pack instructions while the chicken is cooking. Once cooked, keep warm until the chicken is in the final 15 minutes of cooking. When you have increased the heat of the chicken, heat up the oil in a large enough frying pan and the onion and peppers. Cook for about 5 minutes until softened. Add the tomato puree and the smoked paprika and stir well. Add the rice and break up any lumps of rice with your spoon and make sure all grains are well covered. Cook until piping hot.

Simply serve the chicken and rice together. You can also add some salad, if you’d like.

Original recipes: Piri-piri marinade from The Hairy Bikers and the Chicken and Rice from BBC Good Food, March 2013.