Peri Peri Chicken

Peri Peri Chicken

It’s officially summer in my little part of the world. Summer brings an abundance of citrus, and I start craving ways to use fresh lemon in everything I make.

This is a delicious dish of lemon-y spiced chicken. The ingredients may seem a bit long, but the hardest part of this dish is waiting for the chicken to marinade. Peri peri means “pepper pepper” in Swahili. This dish originated in Portugal and spread across Africa when Portuguese explorers brought it along. There are as many interpretations of this dish as there are regions in Africa, but the common thread of all these variation include lemon, chili peppers, and spiced oil.

Here’s my personal take on Peri Peri Chicken!

Ingredients:
4 large chicken breasts (2lbs)
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
1 large onion, sliced thickly

Marinade:
Juice of two lemons
1 T lemon zest
¼ cup olive oil
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
1 fresh chili, minced OR 1tsp of ground red pepper (adjust to taste as needed)
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 T Paprika
1 T Chili powder
2 tsp Oregano
1 T Apple Cider Vinegar

Garnish:
Small handful cilantro, chopped

Directions:
Mix together the marinade. Place chicken, bell pepper and onion in a large glass bowl. Pour marinade on top and cover in plastic. Place in fridge and marinate for several hours or (preferably) overnight.

Heat an oven safe skillet over medium high heat. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Drizzle a bit of olive oil in the pan, and using tongs, place marinated chicken in hot pan. Reserve marinade.

Brown chicken – cooking each side approximately three minutes. Pour marinade over chicken and let cook for a couple minutes until hot and bubbly. Place pan in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes, or until chicken registers an internal temperature of about 161. When it reaches this temperature, I like to pull it out of the oven (careful! It’s hot!) and let it rest. As it rests the temperature will continue to rise to the FDA approved temperature of 165 degrees. The onions, peppers, and lemon cook down into a delicious sauce!

I always use a heat thermometer because it is SO easy to overcook chicken breast.

Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve over rice.

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