Getting to know Africa includes experiencing the vastly different – and yummy – expressions of each culture through food.
Spelled “peri peri” in Africa, Piri piri sauce (used as a seasoning or marinade) is Portuguese in origin. Peri Peri African Chicken is popular in Angola, Namibia, Mozambique and South Africa. We say you can’t go wrong with this combination of ingredients! Yum Yum, indeed.
You can make a big batch of the sauce and store it in the fridge for future use. We always triple our batch and enjoy this delicious flavouring for many meals.
Although we particularly enjoy this family recipe, remember you can search online and find lots of variations on this dish. An online recipe site we use over and over again is The Congo Cookbook. My East Africa Journal is also a great source for recipes.
We found a good basic recipe at Allrecipes.com and tweaked it a bit to reflect the way we make our Peri Peri. We make it so often we do everything automatically, without thinking about how much of this or how much of that. Don’t hesitate to experiment. A little more this, a little less that – is a great way to express your unique culinary talents and make things taste just the way you like them.
- 1/4 cup of paprika
- 2 tablespoons of hot chili powder
- 1 cup of fresh lemon juice
- 1-1/2 teaspoons of chopped fresh ginger (we use a little more – probably 2 teaspoons)
- 4 cloves of garlic (AllRecipes.com calls for 3 cloves but we like more)
- 1-1/2 teaspoons of salt
- fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
- 4 to 6 bone-in chicken breasts (or a similar quantity of chicken thighs)
We like our peri peri sauce quite spicy, so I add a little Sriracha to the mix. You can also add some hot chili pepper flakes.
Simply combine all the ingredients (except chicken) in a bowl. We like to let it sit for at least an hour so the flavours meld.
Rub or brush the chicken with the peri peri sauce. Place your chicken in a bowl, cover with sarah wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours to marinate. We often marinate ours for at least 6 hours for maximum flavour. It’s up to you!
Reserve the leftover peri peri sauce in the fridge. It is delicious “on the side” to dip your chicken in ast you eat.
Peri Peri Chicken has roots in both Africa and Portugal. The dish was created in Angola and Mozambique when Portuguese settlers arrived with chile peppers (known as piri-piri in Swahili).
- When you’re read, just heat up your grill (medium is good for chicken – not too hot or it will burn quickly).
- Cook your chicken as you usually would, turning occasionally. Make sure the juices run clear before taking off the grill for service.
A little tip for you. In the middle of winter (or if we just don’t feel like firing up the BBQ), we use a FlavourWave convection oven to make our Peri Peri Chicken. We highly recommend this device. They are so handy, we’ve got FlavourWaves at home and at our cottage. They are inexpensive and save you having to heat up your kitchen with the oven on.
We like our Peri Peri Chicken with a variety of sides. Rice, chunky spicy oven roasted potatoes, salad – whatever your heart desires.
Enjoy! And please let us know how you enjoy this recipe and any creative culinary modifications you make.
Cover Photo Source: Flickr – Start Cooking (Creative Commons – Labeled for Reuse).