How to make the best grilled chicken – Copycat Nando’s Grilled Chicken Recipe
One of my favorite parts of summer is the chance to grill all the time! We love grilled hamburgers, steaks, ribs, sausages, and especially this juicy and tender flavorful chicken. I know chicken can be notorious for being dry on the grill, but with this recipe and method the chicken will be SO JUICY. My toddler couldn’t eat it fast enough, she loved it!
Nando’s is one of our favorite restaurants, but they are far and few between here in the USA. A few of the sisters have been to a Nando’s in London, and then I went to one in Zambia as well. A few weeks ago, we ate at a Nando’s in Washington DC, and my husband asked them how long they marinate their chicken to get it so tender and flavorful. They marinate for 24 hours, and that is one of the key secrets to making your chicken juicy instead of dry.
The other key element to this recipe is to spatchcock your chicken. It is so easy, and once you try it once you will never go back.
After you have your chicken flat, next comes the 24 hour marinating. Nando’s made it easy for us by having their bottled sauces available at the grocery store or on Amazon.
We used the XX hot version, but any of their flavors work for this grilled chicken.
After marinating the whole chicken for 24 hours, it is time to grill.
Let the chicken sit on the counter to get to room temperature while you are preparing the fruit and vegetables and the grill is preheating to 450 degrees.
First we seared the chicken for a couple minutes on each side over direct heat, then grilled the rest over indirect heat until the temperature reaches 165 (about 1 hour).
If you need the chicken to cook faster, you can break up the chicken into smaller pieces before marinating. But it may not be as juicy as leaving it whole.
A good meat thermometer is vital for grilled meat. No need to wonder if it’s done . . . you will know for sure without guessing! This meat thermometer is top notch. We love it! We set the thermometer to 165, and it shows us the current temp of the chicken, then beeps when it reaches 165. This meat thermometer is such a great price too.
About halfway through cooking, we basted the chicken with a butter/lemon juice/crushed garlic mixture. This adds an extra element of flavor and helps the skin to brown nicely.
The peppers and pineapples only take about 10 minutes to grill, so you won’t want to put them on until the chicken is almost done.
Once your chicken reaches 165 (make sure the thermometer is in the thickest part of the thigh), take it off of the grill and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
Pair this with our S’mores Bars for dessert and you have a fabulous summer meal!
- 1 young whole chicken
- 1/2 bottle Nando's sauce, any variety
- 1/2 stick melted butter
- 1 T. lemon juice
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- 3 colored bell peppers
- 1 pineapple
1. Spatchcock chicken following link in blog post.
2. Marinate chicken for 24 hours in refrigerator.
3. Preheat grill to 450 F
4. Let chicken rest on counter while slicing peppers and pineapples.
5. Insert meat thermometer into thickest part of chicken thigh, and set to reach 165 degrees.
6. Over direct heat, sear chicken for 2 minutes on each side.
7. Over indirect heat, cook chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 F.
8. Halfway through cooking time, combine butter, lemon juice, and garlic. Baste over chicken.
9. Just before the chicken is done, place peppers and pineapple on the grill and cook until tender.
10. Once chicken reaches 165 F, remove from heat and let rest before slicing.