'I Tried Prince Harry's Favorite $9 Takeout Chicken From This Popular Food Chain and It's My New Weekly Go-To'
Perhaps the Prince’s new nickname should be Baby Spice?
By now, you’ve probably heard about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s famous “engagement chicken.” How Prince Harry was so wowed by Meghan’s roast chicken that he got down on one knee and popped the big question before the gravy even hit the table. The Barefoot Contessa herself, Ina Garten, is even credited with popularizing the super simple recipe which, rumor has it, has caused other celebs like Emily Blunt and John Krasinski to fall in love too.
Related: 19 Classic Ina Garten Recipes That Prove She's the GOAT
But there’s another popular poultry on the royal menu these days and it’s mentioned in Prince Harry’s new book, Spare. Prince Harry (when he’s not talking about his frozen todger) actually mentions chicken a few times: the aforementioned engagement chicken, which was also the dinner he and Meghan ate the night they moved into their California home; his love of Morley’s, a fast food chicken chain he likes to frequent when feeling low; and finally, his controversial chicken order at Nando’s, a South African fast-casual chain found in a handful of states in the U.S., but mostly across the pond in the U.K. and Ireland.
Brits love Nando’s—but are pretty put off by Harry’s go-to order—so I set out to see what all the royal fuss is about. And don’t worry—if you don’t have a Nando’s near you, you can still dine like a Prince with a few ingredients and a little time in the kitchen.
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Prince Harry’s Controversial Order
You might be surprised to learn that Prince Harry loves a seemingly basic chicken chain restaurant so much, but what has people talking more is the nature of his order. The Prince’s order, which he reportedly ate quite often before moving to Cali (including the night his son Archie was born) is the chain’s chicken pita, which is sliced chicken breast infused with peri-peri sauce, grilled and finished with a mild lemon and herb seasoning (the chain’s mildest seasoning aside from “plain”), served in a toasted pita with lemon and herb mayo, crunchy slaw in a tangy dressing and extra cheese. Simple, straightforward and not spicy whatsoever (perhaps the Prince’s new nickname should be Baby Spice?). It’s about $9 for the sandwich alone or a few dollars more for a combo meal with a side (Harry opts for the creamy mash) and a drink.
Related: Prince Harry Spare Confessions On Virginity, Drugs, Meghan
Why Brits Are Gobsmacked by the Prince’s Order
Nando’s is known for its succulent grilled chicken marinated in peri-peri (which, fun fact, is derived from Swahili and means “pepper-pepper”) sauce, which is an African bird’s eye chili. These chilies have been used for centuries in Mozambican and Portuguese cooking and Nando’s has popularized the sauce by marinating and basting their grilled chicken in it before throwing it over an open flame.
Related: Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Thighs with Peri Peri Sauce
The Brits love a good “cheeky Nando's" order and inventive creations with the chain’s chicken, garlic bread and mash are all over TikTok. Prince Harry doesn’t opt for the standard peri-peri half chicken or seem to mess with the numerous sides including Macho Peas (whole peas drenched in pea mash, parsley, mint and chili) or garlic bread (a baked Portuguese roll smothered in garlic-herb spread and grilled) and maybe this is why people are so angry. Why would you opt for the mild lemon herb at Nando’s when you have the ability to play around with the sauce bar like you’re the guest star on Hot Ones?
What TikTokers Are Saying About Prince Harry's Nando's Chicken Order
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My Honest Thoughts on the Royal Order
The U.S. version of Prince Harry’s chicken pita was slightly different than the U.K. version. The only major difference between my pita and the Prince’s was the veggies—in the U.K., Nando’s uses a tangy slaw mix and in the U.S., the slaw was subbed for a crunchy mix of raw red peppers, cucumber chunks and lettuce. It was a tasty sandwich and although, yes, it was pretty mild in flavor, the chicken was juicy and (sorry to sound like a commercial here) and grilled to perfection. It had blackened bits that paired nicely with the creamy sauce and raw veggies. The grilled halloumi was a nice hidden touch in some bites too. The pita bread was nothing special but I wouldn’t not order it again because any lunch I can eat with one hand is a good lunch. Naysayers mind your business and leave the Prince alone—this is a solid (albeit non-spicy) sandwich.
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How To Make the Sandwich at Home
Nando’s has locations in Texas, Maryland, D.C., Virginia and the greater Chicago area, but if none of those locations are accessible to you, rest assured that this royal chicken pita is easy to recreate at home. Nando’s sells their peri-peri sauce and numerous other hot sauces as well as their Perinaise through their website or on Amazon.
Nando's Medium Peri-Peri Sauce, 125g
Assembling the sandwich is super simple: marinate chicken breast in the lemon garlic peri-peri sauce, grill, and add to a toasted pita along with the halloumi, Perinaise, chopped cucumber, red pepper and lettuce. Top with more lemon herb peri-peri. If you don’t want to buy the sauces online but you’re committed to eating like a royal at your next meal, head to Trader Joe’s, which sells an excellent bottled peri-peri sauce for around $3.29.
Trader Joe's Peri-Peri Sauce with Fermented Dried Chilies Net 6.76 Fl Oz (200ml) - Pack of 3
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