Are you craving Nandos chicken but don't want to go out for dinner or get a takeaway? Well with these copycat Nandos chicken legs you don't need to. They're easy to cook in the oven and just perfect with chips, corn, coleslaw or whatever sides you like best.
My family love Nandos piri piri chicken and we normally just go for the standard meal of a quarter chicken and two sides. Chips and corn or chips and coleslaw and we're all happy. But, as much as we love Nandos, it can be expensive to keep getting takeaways and it is so much cheaper to make this copycat version at home.
All you need to do is marinate the chicken for up to 24 hours. Although an hour is fine if you haven't prepared. Then bake the chicken in the oven till it's cooked through. It'll come out moist and juicy with gorgeous crispy skin.
Ingredient notes for copycat Nandos chicken legs
To make these Nandos piri piri chicken legs you'll need:
- Chicken - I use large chicken legs but there's nothing to stop you from using the same marinade on wings, drumsticks, thighs or breast meat. You'll just need to alter the cooking time.
- Spices - I use a mixture of cayenne and paprika. If you want it hotter, use more cayenne or add a chopped fresh chilli as well as the powdered spices. You can also add some chilli flakes.
- Herbs - I use a little dried oregano and parsley
- Lemon juice - I usually use a fresh lemon and find I need 2 lemons to get enough juice for this much chicken. If you don't have fresh lemon juice you can replace it with bottled lemon juice.
- Garlic - I usually use fresh garlic but garlic puree or even a garlic powder will all work perfectly well.
- Olive oil - As I'm using it for a marinade I use extra virgin olive oil.
- Seasoning - A little salt and pepper.
How to make Nandos copycat peri peri chicken legs
These chicken legs are really easy and quick to prepare. The marinade takes just 5 mintues to make and then it's just a matter of putting the chicken in the oven.
So, first just mix together all the marinade ingrdients. Then make sure that the chicken legs are throughly coated in the marinade. Leave them in the fridge for at leat an hour but up to 24 hours for the best flavour.
I usually cook these chicken legs in the oven. They take about 40 minutes. It's a good idea to keep checking on them and if they start to look too browned on the outside, cover them lightly with a sheet of baking paper or foil.
If it's summer and you are barbecuing then you can finish the chicken legs off outside. This give them that lovely smoky bbq flavour and a little extra charring. I like to make sure they are fully cooked in the oven and then just bbq for a short time to add flavour to the skin.
Can you cook Nandos chicken legs in the air fryer?
Yes! I have also cooked them in the air fryer. They take about 25 minutes. I start by cooking them upside down and after 15 minutes I turn them over. It's important not to overcrowd the air fryer though so if you are cooking for more people the oven is sometimes more convenient. When I make this marinade recipe for chicken wings I usually use the air fryer.
Can you adapt the recipe?
This is a very simple recipe and any swaps will change it. However, if you find you don't have lemon juice, you can use lime juice or white wine vinegar.
You can also add extra chilli powder or a fresh diced chilli pepper to add heat.
What can you do with the leftovers?
Any leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to three days. You can eat the leftovers cold or reheat them.
How to reheat Nandos chicken legs
You can reheat them in the microwave or in the oven. If you are reheating in the oven, put the chicken legs in an oiled oven proof dish, cover and bake for 15-20 minutes at 180C.
What to serve with Nandos chicken legs?
Well, I like to keep things traditional and serve these Nandos chicken legs with fries, corn on the cob and coleslaw. Sometimes I make spicy rice as my daughter loves it and sometimes I make some peas to go with it too.
We always have a bottle of Nandos sauce in the cupboard and that definitely comes out in our house but if you don't have any, mayonnaise and ketchup go well too!
Nandos Copycat Chicken Legs Recipe
- 2 lemons squeezed
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried parsley
- Pinch salt
- Pinch black pepper
- 1 kg chicken legs about 4 chicken legs
- Mix together all the ingredients for the marinade.
- Coat the chicken legs in the marinade and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 200°c.
- Lightly oil a baking tray or line it with baking paper. Place the chicken legs on the baking tray.
- Bake in the oven for 40 minutes.
- If you are finishing these chicken legs off on the bbq then bake in the oven first but cover the baking tray with a piece of foil so they don't crisp up too much.
- Then transfer to the bbq for 10 minutes.
More recipes you might like
If you like this peri peri chicken recipe then do check out some more of my marinated chicken recipes:
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Do let me know if you make this Nandos copycat recipe or any of my other recipes. I love to get feedback from readers.