Nando’s chicken

Who needs Nando’s? Nando’s, a UK restaurant, famously cooks up mouth watering grilled Portuguese peri peri chicken. After craving this all day and with the lockdown, I recreated it at home for less than half the price. There are many cuts of the chicken that they serve but I chose to cook chicken thighs, drumsticks and legs, as they become the most tender. Try your best to get hold of a griddle pan as this is the best way to make the chicken juicy and taste authentically like Nando’s- this also tastes amazing on a BBQ if the weather allows.

Nandos notoriously has many side dishes mentioned in the recipe- I will tell you how I made the peri chips, garlic bread, spicy rice, corn on the cob, macho peas, coleslaw and perinase (I have tried to be as authentic to nandos as possible with the look and taste).

I sometimes serve it like Nandos’ new ‘fino pitta’- a pitta bread filled with the chicken, grilled halloumi, lettuce, garlic mayo and Nandos’ hot sauce. For vegetarians, I make a frozen bean burger and put it in a pita bread with the halloumi, lettuce and Nando’s sauce.

You can buy the Nando’s branded sauces in any major supermarket- they are relatively cheap and have lots of flavour ranges. Give this a go to spice up your weekend.

Ingredients: (serves 4)

  • One bottle of Nandos’ marinade– I used the hot spice, but you can get any flavour/spice that you want- for a better flavour/ something different, you can try making your own peri peri marinade- recipe herePeri peri chicken burger.
  • 8 chicken thighs (or 4 legs). You can also use wings or drumsticks too- whatever you choose. To make it authentic I like to get skin on and bone in chicken but you can use what you want


  • See below for recipes


  1. Firstly, marinade the chicken. Put the chicken in a big ziplock bag or bowl and pour over the marinade.
  2. Put this in the fridge for as long as possible- overnight or a few hours is preferable.
  3. Put the griddle pan or heat up the BBQ to maximum flame and add a little olive oil to it (use a spray oil if you have this). Wait a few minutes until the pan is really smoking hot.IMG_0889
  4. Then get the chicken and put on the hot griddle. Keep the marinade the chicken was in. The chicken will spit as the pan is very hot, so be careful. Leave on the griddle for about 10 minutes, without moving it. IMG_0890
  5. Brush the top with some more of the marinade saved from the chicken then turn the chicken over. There should be lovely black griddle marks on the bottom of the chicken. Cook on the other side for 10 minutes. Brush the chicken with a little more marinade. If you are using chicken leg, it is best to finish off cooking for a further 15-20 minutes in the oven, to ensure fully cooked.
  6. Check that it is cooked by cutting into the thickest part of the chicken, it should be white and the juices will run clean. How long it takes really depends on which cut of chicken you are using and how big it is.
  7. Make any sides you would like.

Sides recipes:

Peri chips: Simply buy a pack of frozen chips (I got the ‘straight cut’ Morrison’s home brand ones as they look similar to the Nando’s ones. Cook according to oven instructions then sprinkle on peri salt (from supermarket).

Garlic bread: Mix together a few tbsp butter (once left out the fridge for a bit so it is soft), 3 garlic cloves minced/ finely chopped, a few tsp dried herbs, fresh parsley, salt and a drizzle of garlic oil/ olive oil. Brush this on a white burger bun (inside part). Grill by using a griddle pan/ BBQ/ under the grill, both sides.

Macho peas: I use frozen peas and defrost them in the microwave, then mix with red chilli, chopped mint and parsley, salt and pepper. Mash them a little too.

Halloumi: Get a block of halloumi and slice. Brush with olive oil and griddle in the griddle pan, BBQ, regular pan or under the grill, until soft.

Corn on the cob: I like to cook this in the microwave with a bit of water in a bowl and covered, then finish it off in a griddle pan (optional), or you can BBQ it.

Perinase: Mix a little mayo with nandos sauce (depending on how hot you like it).

Coleslaw: I just use the regular shop brought one. I always just take it out of the fridge last minute, as it is so much nicer cooler.

Spicy rice: Uncle Ben’s packet spicy rice is so easy for this and a great dupe.

Nando’s experience: If you’re making all of this you might as well go full out. I made little labels with the spice on it for some fun. I also brought giant olives like at Nando’s to have on the table. I like to have soft drinks at the ready like when you fill up at Nando’s and play Nando’s music in the background (playlist: ).

I hope you all have fun with this, enjoy!! X

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