In this article, I’ll be showing you how to cook Nandos style chicken at home in a conventional or regular oven. Fan assisted ovens with top and bottom heating elements are highly recommended for best results.
First off, the preparation of the chicken. I’m using a 900-gram whole chicken which we will spatchcock or butterfly.
Some people like using a knife to do this, but I find it’s much easier and safer to use a decent pair of kitchen shearers.
Next remove the excess skin, the yucky bits.
Some people like to remove the breast bone, but I find it unnecessary. I just give it a good snip in the middle of the breast bone, flip it over and press down.
And there we have it, a spatchcocked chicken, ready to marinate.
Before marinating, I like to pierce the chicken several times with a fork all the way down into the flesh, allowing the flavour of the sauce to be absorbed.
Next, liberally add the marinade sauce to the chicken. This can be any good quality sauce of your choice. I like to add Portuguese garlic and pepper sauce. Nandos sauces available in most UK supermarkets are also a good choice for great tasting chicken.
The above images are links to products which we will make a small commission from at no extra cost to you.
Ideally, it’s recommended to leave the chicken marinating in the fridge overnight, but I never do as I’m always pressed for time. By piercing the chicken it allows a lot of the flavour to be absorbed whilst cooking anyway.
Place the chicken on a wire rack. I like to line the bottom of the tray with foil. This protects and prevents ruining the tray with burnt on drippings.
My method of cooking the chicken doesn’t require turning the chicken at all, but you will need to set the oven to top and bottom heat setting to ensure the chicken is perfectly cooked. If you only have heat coming from the top of the oven, you risk ending up with an undercooked chicken, therefore you would need to turn the chicken every 10 minutes or so, which is rather tiresome.
It’s important not to place the chicken too close to the heating element, otherwise, you’ll end up with a totally burnt and dried out chicken. For best results, I recommend placing it in the middle of the oven.
A 900-gram chicken like this one takes exactly 60 minutes to cook with my method. For a chicken of 1 kilo and 300 grams, for example, I would add another 20 minutes to the cooking time.
The first 15 to 20 minutes we want the oven set to high heat, in order to brown and slightly char the skin. This step is crucial, so keep a close eye to check if the skin is not being chared too much. I set the temperature to 230 degrees Centigrade or 440 degrees in Fahrenheit for the first 15 to 20 minutes.
Then for the remaining time, 40 minutes for this 900-gram chicken, I reduce the temperature right down to 140 degrees Centigrade or 280 degrees in Fahrenheit. This slow cooks the chicken making it very tender and juicy. Remember to cook the chicken accordingly, so if you have a 1 kilo and 300 grams chicken to cook, you would need the first 15 to 20 minutes on high heat to brown and char the skin and then an additional 60 minutes on low heat.
And dinner is served. I always look forward to cooking this meal as it’s so easy to prepare and tastes delicious accompanied with chips, corn, coleslaw, onion rings and a side salad if that’s what rocks your world.
As an extra tip. You can use a non-spicy sauce to marinate the chicken. Allowing people that do not like their chicken spicy to enjoy this meal. And then people who like their chicken spicy can simply add a decent chilli sauce to the chicken once it is served.