Nando’s Peri Peri Chicken Burger

This is my version of the famous Nando’s Peri Peri Chicken Burger. It is my most popular recipe. This month’s Super Food Ideas magazine has five of my dishes!!!

A few months ago, I received an email that I never expected.

{Abbreviated} “Hello, Nagi. I’m Rebecca, editor of Super Food Ideas, Australia’s best-selling food magazine. I adore the way you write—kind, empathetic, and self-deprecating; additionally, your recipes are fantastic. It got me thinking: Is there a way we could collaborate? I believe your meals would be ideal for my audience. Please contact me by email or phone to discuss potential opportunities.

I literally gasped aloud, sprang out of my chair, did a little jiggy, and grabbed up the phone immediately. Then I set it down and took a few deep breaths to calm myself.

Nando’s Peri Peri Chicken Burger
Nando’s Peri Peri Chicken Burger

“Be cool,” I told myself. “Be professional; don’t come across like a dribbling fool.”

Thank you so much for that motivational talk. I made the call, tripped over my words with excitement, and was afraid the editor would never take me seriously, thinking I was simply a blubbering, over-eager gourmet…

And still, it happened. My dream, which I had never considered possible until years later, has come true.

My dishes are being featured in Australia’s best-selling magazine, Super Food Ideas! And not merely placed in a dark corner. There’s a WHOLE SPREAD of MY recipes, including MY images, text, and ideas!! EEK!!!

I nearly burst into tears when I received the mockup of the arrangement of the pages in Super Food Ideas for my recipes, complete with full-page images. It looked so professional that it was overwhelming, humbling, and beyond description. Someone once asked me why I didn’t shoot more commercials for clients. “Commercial shoots” refer to packaged food or food prepared by others, which I then photograph for advertisements and catalogs. And my response was, “I want to capture the food I enjoy. Because I am passionate about preparing wonderful food, I want to share it with others. With my family, friends, and on my blog! And photographing my favorite foods, trying to convey everything I adore about them, is what gets my passions going!”

Which is why I am so happy about the opportunity to contribute my own recipes to Super Food Ideas magazine. It is indeed a dream come true to have my own recipes and images published in a magazine!

Nando’s Copycat Portuguese Chicken Burgers
Return to my Nando’s copycat Portuguese Chicken Burgers! I don’t think Nando’s is really popular in America yet, but it has a cult following in Australia. I truly believe this is my most frequently requested recipe. If you haven’t had Nando’s before, you’re in for a treat. The marinade is fantastic!

Nando’s Peri Peri Chicken Burger
Nando’s Peri Peri Chicken Burger

And it serves as the foundation for a basic burger sauce as well as a delicious dipping sauce for wedges on the side!

Nando’s Peri-Peri Sauce.
The handmade Nando’s Peri Peri sauce tastes amazingly similar! It is created using fresh red chillies, capsicum/bell pepper (this is the “secret” ingredient), garlic, vinegar, oil, and herbs and spices (paprika, oregano, onion, sugar, salt, and pepper).

It’s essentially a plonk-and-blitz operation, then pour over the chicken.

Burger

What I particularly like about the Peri Peri Sauce marinade is that you can use it for burgers or not. The marinade is so flavorful that it could easily be served as a supper dish without bread. Check out the caramelisation; isn’t it fantastic? The marinade adds great flavor!

It can also be used as an additional sauce for burgers, or mixed into mayonnaise to make Pink Burger Sauce for dipping wedges or chips (shown above).I asked Super Food Ideas if I could share it with you because I really wanted to include it on my site. This is one of five recipes I made specifically for Super Food Ideas. The other four are exclusive to the magazine, but don’t worry; it’s only $3.20 (can you believe that?) and available at all major supermarkets and newsagents across Australia.

Here’s a sneak peek at the other recipes I prepared for Super Food Ideas. All of these are “Double Duty” recipes, which employ the same base sauce as both a marinade and a delectable side dish.

Nando’s Peri Peri Chicken Burger
Nando’s Peri Peri Chicken Burger

1. Garlic Lime Marinated Prawns (Shrimp) with Green Rice – One lime and garlic mixture was used to marinate the prawns and as the flavor base for a green spinach rice.

2. Cuban Mojo Marinated Pork Cutlets with Corn and Capsicum Salsa – The famous Cuban Mojo marinade is used to infuse flavor into the pork as well as a dressing to swirl through the chargrilled salsa.

3. Chinese Broccoli with Oyster Sauce and Marinated Chicken – my favorite Chinese vegetable recipe includes a sauce that’s also great for marinating chicken;

4. Middle Eastern Lamb Koftas with Aromatic Lentil Rice – The foundation spice mixture is used to season both the kofta and the rice.

I hate to brag, but the green spinach coriander garlic lime rice cooked with the prawn/shrimp marinade is delicious. Really excellent!

This Portuguese Chicken Burger is one of my “go-to” meals for entertaining large parties. I put large amounts of chicken and marinade in ziplock bags and assign the BBQ to the guys. I set out baskets of rolls and platters of lettuce and tomato, with Pink Sauce and Peri Peri Sauce on the side, and I let everyone build their own burgers. NO PLATES. Te he! Napkins only! Don’t make me clean up!

Ingredients

PERI PERI SAUCE/MARINADE

1 – 3 birds eye red chilies (1 is mild, 3 is reasonably spicy) (Note 1)

1 large red bell pepper/ capsicum , cut into chunks

5 garlic cloves

3 tbsp vegetable oil

4 tbsp malt vinegar , or any other plain brown vinegar except not balsamic

2 tbsp paprika

1 tbsp dried oregano

2 tsp onion powder

1 1/2 tsp white sugar

1 1/2 tsp salt

Black pepper

Few drop of red food colouring (optional)

PINK SAUCE

3 tbsp Peri Peri Sauce

½ cup whole egg mayonnaise

¼ cup sour cream (or yoghurt)

BURGERS

1 tbsp olive oil

4 chicken thigh fillets , skinless boneless (each large enough for a burger)

4 soft rolls

2 tomatoes , sliced

Lettuce of choice

Instructions

Place the Peri Peri Sauce ingredients in a food processor or blender and whizz until smooth. Pour 1/2 cup into a ziplock bag with the chicken. Marinate for at least 3 hours, or up to 24 hours.
Mix together 3 tablespoons of the Peri Peri Sauce with the Pink Sauce ingredients. Set aside.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a fry pan over medium high heat OR the BBQ. Add the chicken and cook each side for 4 to 5 minutes, or until dark golden brown. Remove from fry pan onto a plate, cover loosely with foil and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
To make the burgers, split a roll in half and top with lettuce, tomato, chicken then Pink Sauce. Drizzle with the residual Peri Peri Sauce if desired. Serve with French fries or wedges!

Recipe Notes:

1. The best substitute is Thai Chilis because they are small and around the same heat as Birds Eye Chilis. Otherwise, dried cayenne pepper is also a fabulous substitute! 1 tsp per birds eye chili. I suggest starting with 1 tsp then whizz, do a taste test then adjust to your taste.
ALSO  READ: Veggie Burgers

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