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Peri Peri Chicken Thighs Recipe

Crispy skin Peri Peri Chicken Thighs, baked in the oven, perfect recipe for a weeknight dinner! Serve it with some rice or baked potatoes and some coleslaw too!


Crispy skin Peri Peri Chicken Thighs baked in the oven, perfect recipe for a weeknight dinner!

How to make Peri Peri Chicken Thighs Recipe

Well, I want to share with you my all time favorite sauce, the traditional Portuguese Peri Peri Sauce (also known as Piri Piri sauce).

We are talking spicy sauce today for crispy skin, oven baked Peri Peri Chicken Thighs recipe.

What ingredients are in Peri Peri sauce

Peri Peri sauce is made of chili (I like my sauce quite spicy, so I use Thai bird chili), olive oil, garlic, lemon (juice and zest), smoked paprika, dried oregano and bay leaf.

We have first tried Peri Peri chicken sauce at a Nando’s restaurant in Australia, many years ago and it was like love at first sight. Ah! their flame grilled chicken marinated and basted in their Peri Peri sauce made from African bird’s eye chillies is amazing 🙂

We absolutely love their signature restaurant sauce.

It is not the same story with the Peri Peri sauce you can buy in bottles from supermarkets. It lacks flavor, punch and texture, my opinion. Quite disappointing ….

Crispy skin Peri Peri Chicken, baked in the oven, perfect recipe for a weeknight dinner!

Edite Vieira, author of “The Taste of Portugal” has said that two of the most famous dishes that use piri-piri are chicken piri piri and shrimp (prawn) piri piri. The secret is always in the sauce….a good, full flavored and balanced sauce.

Of course, trying to recreate Peri Peri sauce is not easy.

Not because it’s difficult to make the sauce, it takes just 5 minutes to have it done, but it is so tricky to get that right balance.

I have been working to perfect my Peri Peri sauce for some time and I am finally really happy with its flavor! I usually use Thai bird chili as I can’t find piri-piri peppers. You can adjust the spiciness by choosing a milder chili, like Cherry Chili, for example.

Here is my first attempt making a short video to show you how quick and easy it is to make Peri Peri Sauce

Crispy skin Peri Peri Chicken, baked in the oven, perfect recipe for a weeknight dinner!

This Oven Baked Peri Peri Chicken Thighs recipe is perfect for weeknight dinners.

The whole secret is to marinate the chicken (you can use a whole chicken, butterflied chicken, chicken legs, etc) ahead of cooking time. If you remember to leave it over night, would be perfect. If you forget, like I did 🙂 allow at least 2 hours for the chicken to absorb flavors.

I used chicken thighs (bone-in) this time and have placed them in a gallon size Ziploc bag, added generous quantity of Peri Peri sauce, sealed the bag and rubbed the chicken for a couple of minutes, before placing it in the fridge.

What to serve with Peri Peri Chicken Thighs?

I love to serve it with some spicy rice (you can use any favorite rice recipe or type) or baked potatoes and coleslaw on side too.

More Baked Chicken Recipes for you to try!

Enjoy these juicy Peri Peri chicken thighs baked in the oven and learn how to make the BEST CRISPY skin! Add some rice as side dish and here you have the perfect easy family dinner recipe!

Peri Peri Chicken Thighs Recipe (Oven Baked)

Peri Peri Chicken Thighs Recipe (Oven Baked)

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Crispy skin Peri Peri Chicken Thighs, baked in the oven, perfect recipe for a weeknight dinner! Serve it with some rice or potatoes and coleslaw.


Peri Peri Sauce

  • 5-7 fresh Bird eye chili, depending on how spicy you want it
  • 1/2 to 1 cup extra virgin olive oil, depending on how thin you want it
  • 4 medium garlic cloves
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • 8 chicken thighs skin on


  1. Prepare your chili, discard stems and roughly chop them.
  2. Place all the ingredients from Peri Peri sauce list in a food processor fitted with a metal blade/ blender and blend until smooth. Check if you are ok with the texture of the sauce (I like mine a bit coarse, not very smooth. If you prefer it smoother blend the mixture some more). Pour the mixture into a small glass jar and place it in the fridge.*
  3. Place chicken thighs (or whole chicken/ butterflied chicken, chicken legs) in a bowl or Ziploc bag, add generous amount of Peri Peri sauce, cover or seal the bag and place it in the fridge for at least 2 hours (overnight would be ideal).
  4. Preheat your oven at 400F/ 200C. Spray some olive oil on a skillet/ baking pan, add marinated chicken and bake it for 40 minutes or until chicken is cooked, basting with some more sauce after 20 minutes in the oven.
  5. Serve with extra Peri Peri sauce next to rice or baked potatoes. Add some coleslaw too.


You can store Peri Peri sauce in a tight closed jar, in the fridge, for maximum 4 weeks.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g

What My Readers are Saying about my Peri Peri Chicken Recipe and their True & Tried photos

“Added red onion, shallot and more garlic. Also roasted Brussel sprouts with Parmesan” krysta hynes on Pinterest


Avoid searching for this Peri Peri Chicken recipe, save it now! Pin it here:



Rehman ashraf

Sunday 1st of January 2017

I also done Bar b Q withe peri peri souce ,2tspon soya souce and 2 tspon sirka, in 1.5 kg chikan and i found delicious tast.u can try it.


Saturday 28th of November 2015

Awesome!! I used 4 chicken breasts, doubled all the sauce ingredients except the sugar and red pepper flakes. I also used applesauce in place of the juice b/c thats what I had. We ran out of soy sauce so I only put in about 3/4 cup was plenty!! Thanks for an awesome recipe.

Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine

Thursday 9th of July 2015

I should try to make this for my husband... he grew up in South Africa, so this is a flavor of home to him. He buys it in a jar, but as you said-- just not the same!

Roni Oliveira

Sunday 22nd of March 2015

Sorry...but what is a bird eye chili?

Adore Foods

Sunday 22nd of March 2015

hi Roni! Bird eye chili is a type of chili and it is hard to find. You can use Thai chili, small red chilies (only an inch or so long) that are quite spicy too. For this recipe I have used Cherry Chili, because i was not able to find any of the above. Hope it helps!

Pang @ circahappy

Sunday 15th of March 2015

Yay!!! for using Thai bird chili.. hahaha I have never eaten this dish, though your photos give me all the attentions. Your photos are so mouthwatering, and I am pretty sure I will love any recipes with Thai bird chili + dark meat chicken. Such a great post, Oana :)

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