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Recipe: How to Make Piri Piri Chicken the Mozambique Style

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Piri Piri Chicken is a spicy African chicken recipe served around the world today. With a blend of chillies, lemon, olive oil, herbs, and chicken along with other seasonings before grilling, it’s best for lunch or dinner over some plain rice or jollof rice.

During the colonization of Angola and Mozambique by Portugal, Piri Piri Chicken was introduced with the coming of chili peppers, or what they call Piri Piri. The Portuguese came with the peppers. These peppers are indigenous to a number of African countries, including Mozambique, and are known by the Swahili name “piri piri,” which translates to “pepper pepper.” 

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Piri piri chicken is widely consumed in most households in Mozambique as an informal national dish. It is possible to grill or fire roast, depending on your preference or taste.

In this edition of Spotcovery’s African Food and Recipes, you’ll learn how to make piri piri chicken Mozambique style.

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How to Make Piri Piri Chicken Mozambique Style

There’s something called peri-peri sauce you can use in preparing piri piri chicken. Peri Peri Sauce is a blend of bird’s eye peppers, giving the chicken some fiery heat, lemon, olive oil, herbs, and spices. 

It has a combination of sour, sweet, and salty flavors that you can use to marinate any meat, like chicken, pork, and beef. You can make Peri-Peri sauce yourself at home or buy it from your local store.

It’ll be best to marinate your chicken overnight for the best-tasting flame-grilled chicken.

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Let’s get to the complete ingredients below.

Ingredients for Making Piri Piri Chicken

Some Ingredients for piri piri chicken. Image source: Freepik licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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Instructions for Making Piri Piri Chicken

  1. Wash your chicken and pat it dry with a cloth or paper napkin. You can choose to remove the excess fat on skin side at this point. You can cut your chicken into pieces or grill it in the oven whole. You can use whole chicken or use its parts such as chicken thighs or chicken breast.
  2. Rub lemon or squeeze out the lemon juice on the chicken. This adds a refreshing citrus flavor to your chicken recipe and takes out the funky smell of the chicken.
  3. Add ½  teaspoon or tablespoons of salt and pepper to the chicken. Place aside.
  4. Place the onions, garlic, basil, oregano, bell pepper, and peri peri sauce in a blender and add olive oil. Blend for about 30 seconds until the mixture is smooth.
  5. Coat the chicken with the mixture evenly, place in a zip lock bag, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to marinate. For best results, marinate overnight. Whatever you use let it be an airtight container.
  6. When you’re ready to grill, use tongs to remove the chicken from the peri peri marinade and remove excess marinade. Reserve the marinade.
  7. Preheat the grill to medium heat to high.
  8. Place the chicken on the grill and grill for 20 – 30 minutes. You’ll have to turn each side occasionally until it is cooked through.
  9. In a small saucepan, simmer the remaining peri peri marinade and the one from the chicken for about 10 minutes. Serve with chicken or mix with the chicken when grilled.
  10.  You can eat piri piri chicken with plain rice, jollof rice, potatoes, or french fries.

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Tips for Cooking Piri Piri Chicken

  • Always wash your hands well after handling the chicken with this peri peri sauce marinade because the chillies are bird’s eye peppers that are 10 times hotter than other chillies.
  • To prevent burning your hands with the hot sauce, use tongs to handle your chicken when marinating.
  • Marinate and keep it in your fridge overnight so that flavour seeps through the entire piece of chicken.
  • You can make peri peri sauce and keep it in the freezer until you need it. Just make sure not to keep it for more than a month.
  • You can also use other forms of hot peppers like Thai chili, paprika, red bell peppers, serrano peppers, habaneros, or scotch bonnet peppers if you don’t have bird’s eye chillies.
Video credit: Telande World

Telande World is a YouTuber who shares authentic African recipes. The brand has a goal to fundamentally change the way the world appreciates and engages with African food.

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Sedi Djentuh
Sedi Djentuh
Hey, Sedi here, a content writer. She's fascinated by the interplay between people, lifestyle, relationships, tech and communication dedicated to empowering and spreading positive messages about humanity. She's an avid reader and a student of personal weekly workouts. When she's not writing, Sedi is busy advocating for plastic-free earth with her local NGO.


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