For the longest time, I avoided recipes that required things to marinate for a long time before consumption. I just wasn’t a planner with my meals because my life was anything but routine when I first started cooking. But over the past year or so, routine has finally made its way into my life. I s’pose it’s inevitable To make life a little easier and to be less wasteful with food, I decided to plan my meals ahead of time. Don’t judge me, but I keep a spreadsheet of my meals for the week. I blame wedding planning for making me turn everything into a spreadsheet. But it really does help me stay organized and know exactly what to buy at the grocery store. This is probably a blaring sign of a novice cook, but I’m ok with that!
The great thing about meal-planning is I no longer have to avoid long marinating recipes like the plague. In fact I look forward to it because I know some dishes taste SO much better with adequate marinating time. So for today’s post I’m sharing one of my biggest obsessions in life: Peri Peri Chicken a.k.a NANDOS!!! So I have to say, this isn’t exactly like Nandos chicken but it’s half-way there and frankly it feels a little more guilt-free to eat this because I know exactly what’s going into the recipe It’s also insanely easy to make, so why pay $10 for 1/4 of the chicken when for the same price you get a whole one that’ll last you at least 2-3 meals?
Roasting a whole chicken is still kind of intimidating for me. I haven’t yet figured out the PERFECT equation for getting a moist completely cooked chicken without char. The past two times I’ve roasted a chicken, I’ve gotten more char on the skin than I’ve wanted. I did find a blog post after I made this that might offer the best roasting technique(s). So if you’re going to try this recipe out, I highly recommend checking out this nifty post on roasting the perfect chicken. I read the whole thing and it makes so much more sense than some of the posts I referred to, to roast my chicken. Here’s a video on how to carve the chicken if you are new to the roasting a whole chicken/carving situation!
The recipe below will guide you through making the marinade, which by the way is also going to be your dipping/slathering sauce! Hope you enjoy this recipe
- 1 whole chicken (mine was about 3-4 lbs)
- 1 red bell pepper
- 4-5 garlic cloves (they can stay whole, but remove any green stems/parts)
- 1-2 Tbsp crushed red pepper (adjust based on spice preference)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 lemon, juiced (save the other 1/2 if you want it to be more lemony)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup yogurt, **optional
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
- Place the bell pepper on a baking sheet and into the oven for 20 minutes
- Take the pan out of the oven, turn the bell pepper over with tongs and place in the oven for another 20 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven, let the pepper cool for about 10-15 minutes outside or in the fridge until completely cooled (you don't want the pepper to hot/warm).
- Remove & discard the stem, seeds and skin. Put the pepper into a blender along with the garlic, crushed red pepper, salt, lemon juice & olive oil and blend on high until completely pureed.
- Try the sauce out and see if you want to add more salt/lemon juice.
- Reserve about 1/4 - 1/2 cup of the sauce for dipping later (store in an airtight container in the fridge)
- Prep your chicken for marinating. Leave the skin on (if you want to avoid eating skin, just remove it after the chicken has cooked).
- Using a small knife make a gash in each breast, thigh and leg (this is to let the marinade seep into the deep parts of the chicken)
- Place the chicken in a storage bowl or large gallon size bag. Pour the sauce onto the chicken and using your hands just rub the sauce all over the chicken, into the gashes and under the skin.
- Let the chicken marinate in the fridge overnight.
- When ready to roast the chicken, follow the roasting instructions here
- When the chicken has roasted and cooked completely, serve with the reserved sauce. **Mix in the yogurt if your sauce feels too acidic/spicy.