Homemade Peri-Peri Chicken (Low carb, Keto)
Share this now!
Seriously do it.
Peri-Peri chicken falls into one of my favourite recipes categories, sheet pan dinners. It’s easy, it’s tasty, and it’s an affordable low carb dinner option that works any day of the week.
Oven roasted chicken thighs, especially skin on bone in, are an absolute staple in our house. Not only are they economical to purchase, the skin and bone actually improves the flavour, and texture of the cooked chicken.
Especially when they are smothered in my pepper laden low carb Peri-Peri marinade which is anchored with my aromatic curry paste. Just another bonus since I always keep a batch of my aromatic paste in the fridge or freezer for use on various recipes.
I have a feeling that after you try it, you just might as well.
What Is Peri-Peri Chicken
So let’s get this out of the way quick. This is not a fully authentic Peri-Peri chicken recipe.
Firstly, it doesn’t use actual Peri-Peri chili peppers as they are not readily available, and secondly, it does use my aromatic curry paste that was originally developed for cooking Malaysian and other South Asian curries, which contains some aromatics like lemongrass that are not traditionally included in a Peri-Peri recipe.
Peri-peri or Piri-Piri, stemming from a word referring to “pepper” or “a sauce made with red chilli peppers”, is a recipe that originates from Southern part of the African continent where it is believed that Portuguese South Africans made use of the locally grown Peri-Peri red chilli peppers, also known as the African Bird’s Eye chili pepper to make a fiery red recipe for sauces, marinades, and seasonings.
This popular Portuguese-African Chicken can now be found all over the world thanks to successful chains like Nando’s chicken, and other Portuguese chicken restaurants, such as my favourite local Toronto spot for some low carb take-out, the Portuguese Chicken Guys.
Why Use An Aromatic Curry Paste?
Peri-Peri is not Malaysian or Southeast Asian, so why use an aromatic curry paste made for Southeast Asian curry recipes to make Peri-Peri chicken?
Upon researching how to make peri-peri chicken, the gist of all the recipes I came across was chicken, marinated in a fiery peri-peri sauce made with crushed hot chilli peppers, onions, garlic, other types of peppers, citrus, paprika, oil, and fresh herbs like cilantro, parsley. Then roasted, baked, or grilled.
My aromatic curry paste is just that, a fiery pepper filled curry paste with a few unconventional extras such as turmeric and lemongrass. The simple addition of some dried spices, namely paprika, and a good shot of citrus juice and you are basically left with a peri-peri style marinade. It may not be fully authentic, but as we all know, something doesn’t have to be 100% authentic to be 100% delicious.
If you can’t get over the few non-authentic ingredients, that’s fine, go ahead and leave them out.
Is Peri-Peri Chicken Keto Friendly?
It sure is! This peri-peri marinade contains no added sugar or sweeteners. Each piece of chicken has approximately 1.4g of net carbs and entirely from the aromatics and spices used in this recipe.
Depending on your level of tolerance this recipe is even suitable as a part of a semi-carnivore style of eating.
What Is In Low Carb Peri-Peri Chicken?
Low Carb Peri-Peri marinade:
- 4-5 tablespoons aromatic curry paste
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
- 2 tablespoons oil
- Salt and pepper
- 6-8 large bone in skin on chicken thighs/legs
How To Make Peri-Peri Chicken
- If you have not already done so, prepare the aromatic curry paste using my recipe found here, or a recipe of your very own.
- Add the prepared aromatic paste along with the remaining marinade ingredients to a large bowl or freezer bag and combine well. Season the raw chicken with salt and pepper, and add the chicken to the marinade. Combine to coat making sure each piece of chicken is properly covered in the peri-peri marinade. Chicken can be cooked right away, but for best results let the chicken marinade for at least 1 hour before cooking. Overnight if possible.
For sheet pan oven roasting:
- Preheat the oven to 375°F [190°C]
- Place the marinated chicken pieces on a foil lined baking sheet skin side up, and cook on the middle rack for 35-45 minutes until the skin has become slightly crispy and the chicken is cooked through to an internal temperature of 165°F [74°C].
- Properly oven roasted chicken thighs should pull away from the bone with little effort and any juices running from the meat should be clear.
- Heat grill to medium-high heat and rub with oil to prevent sticking.
- Grill chicken skin side down for 3-5 minutes, until the skin begins to crisp, and then flip.
- Close the lid, and cook on the other side until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F [75°C].
- Remove the chicken from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
** properly cooked chicken should pull away easily from the bone, and have only clear juices running from it. It should not appear pink, or rubbery in the middle. It always best to use a meat thermometer if you are unsure **
Serve peri-peri chicken garnished with fresh chilies, cilantro, and lemon/lime juice.
Homemade Peri Peri Chicken
- Knife and Cutting Board
- Baking sheet
- Cooking foil
- 6-8 large chicken thighs or legs bone in skin on
- 5 tablespoons aromatic curry paste
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon/lime juice
- salt and pepper
- Prepare the marinade by combining the aromatic curry paste, paprika, garlic powder, oil, and lemon/lime juice in a large bowl or freezer bag.
- Season all sides of the chicken with salt and pepper, and add them to the marinade. Be sure to coat the chicken with the marinade well, use your hands to make sure they evenly covered. Chicken can be cooked right away, but for best results allow the chicken to marinade in the fridge for at least 1 hour, or overnight before cooking.
Oven Roasted Peri Peri Chicken
- Preheat the oven to 375°F [190°C]
- Space the marinaded chicken, skin side up on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake on the middle rack for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the skin has started to crispy and the internal temperature is at least 165°F [74°C]. See notes.
Grilled or BBQ Peri Peri Chicken
- Heat a clean grill to medium-high heat and rub with oil the prevent sticking.
- Once hot, place the marinated chicken skin side down on the grill for 3-5 minutes until the skin starts to crisp and flip over. Close the lid and cook the chicken on the other side until it reaches an internal temperature of at least 165°F [74°C].
- Remove the chicken from the heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
- Serve Peri Peri chicken garnished with fresh cilantro, chopped chilies, and fresh lemon/lime juice as a part of a flavourful low carb meal.
Other Recipes You Might Like
What To Serve With Peri-Peri Chicken
The low carb content and simple preparation of this recipe make it an excellent choice to be served as a part of a low carb, or keto friendly dinner paired with your favourite salad or coleslaw.
This recipe also pairs well with sheet pan roasted or sautéed seasonal vegetables or cauliflower rice recipes. Many of which can be cooked alongside the chicken in the oven at the same time.
Some Low Carb Side Dish Ideas
Make Ahead, Leftovers, and Meal Prep
Having a batch of the aromatic curry paste ready in the fridge or freezer will greatly reduce the time and effort to make this chicken recipe. Peri Peri chicken can also remain marinating in the fridge up to 2 days ahead of time in preparation for a party, BBQ or picnic.
Leftovers should be stored sealed in the fridge and reheated in a 350°F [175°C] oven or the microwave.
The amount of this chicken you can make at once is only limited by your oven/grill space. Therefore a large batch of this peri peri chicken can easily be prepared at the beginning of the week on meal prep day, and divided into individual meals for the week.
Paired with seasonal sheet pan vegetables, this recipe is perfect for a virtually hands off, low carb weekly meal prep.
Time To Dive In!
As always I am delighted to bring you another elevated low carb recipe to add to your repertoire.
If you enjoyed this recipe make sure you share it with others, it only takes a second and it helps me and them!
Take a second to share if you liked this recipe:
And if you haven’t joined the gang yet, what are you waiting for?! Take a second to join down below and you’ll get popular low carb recipes, seasonal highlights, and very soon, free low carb dinner plans right to your inbox!