Spicy Peri Peri-Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes & Kale

Our peri peri-roasted chicken employs Portuguese cooking techniques but uses African ingredients. You'll love the tangy, spicy sauce served alongside sweet potatoes and kale.

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There is some disagreement about the origin of peri peri sauce – the tangy, spicy sauce that is typically drizzled over grilled chicken. Both Portugal and South Africa claim it as their own. We think it’s best called a fusion dish since it employs Portuguese cooking techniques but uses African ingredients, namely, bird’s eye chile. Here, we swap bird’s eye for habanero since it’s easier to find.

Nutrition superstars: Thriftier cuts like chicken legs take center stage in this easy weeknight meal, but its superfood co-stars put this dish on the nutritional A-list. Sweet potatoes contain retinoic acid, a derivative of vitamin A that’s been shown to suppress tumor cell growth in the early stages of breast cancer, and kale is a good source of lutein, noted for its ability to prevent cognitive decline.

Total Cost: $18.78

Cost per plate: $4.70

Prep Time
15 min
45 min


  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced

    ½ red onion, chopped

    ¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley

    5 cloves garlic, peeled

    1 tbsp paprika

    1 tbsp red wine vinegar

    1 habanero chile pepper, stem and seeds discarded

    1 red bell pepper, sliced, divided

    1 tsp sea salt, divided

    8 chicken drumsticks (about 2 lb), skin removed

    2 sweet potatoes (about 1 lb) cut crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices

    3 tbsp olive oil, divided

    ½ tsp ground black pepper

    1 large bunch curly kale (about 9 oz), thick stems removed and leaves torn


1. To a food processor, add lemon zest and juice, onion, parsley, garlic, paprika, vinegar, chile, half of bell pepper and ¼ tsp salt; process until smooth. Place half of mixture in a large resealable bag and add chicken, turning to coat. Marinate in refrigerator for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight. Store remaining sauce in a container in the refrigerator.

2. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Bring reserved sauce to room temperature.

3. Toss sweet potatoes and remaining bell pepper with 1 tbsp oil, ¼ tsp salt and the pepper. Arrange in a single layer on sheet. Place chicken on top of vegetables; discard excess marinade. Bake for 20 minutes.

4. In a large bowl, toss kale with remaining 2 tbsp oil and ½ tsp salt. Arrange kale on top of chicken and vegetables and bake until chicken is cooked through (an instant-read thermometer will read 165°F), sweet potatoes are tender and kale is crispy on edges, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve reserved sauce on the side.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size ¼ of recipe
  • Calories 312
  • Carbohydrate Content 23 g
  • Cholesterol Content 117 mg
  • Fat Content 16 g
  • Fiber Content 6 g
  • Protein Content 30 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 3 g
  • Sodium Content 641 mg
  • Sugar Content 0 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 9 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 3 g