Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Piri-Piri Chicken

This dish is a spicy delight! It's also long and complicated and so worth the effort says my neighbor Annie. I can attest to the fact that it was delicious and a very different combination of flavors.

Piri-piri 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.

It’s a favorite for all the chile lovers and needs to marinate for at least four hours before being grilled.

Bon Appetit!



• 3 tablespoons butter

• 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

• 2 garlic cloves, minced

• 2 tablespoons piri-piri sauce or other hot pepper sauce

• 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


• 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

• 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled, thinly sliced

• 1 large shallot, peeled, quartered

• 3 garlic cloves, peeled

• 1/2 cup piri-piri sauce or other hot pepper sauce

• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for brushing

• 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

• 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

• 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

• 1 3 1/2- to 4-pound chicken, backbone removed, opened flat

• 1 113/4x81/2x1 1/4-inch disposable aluminum baking pan (to catch drips)

• Ingredient Info

Bottled piri-piri sauce is available at specialty foods stores. Choose the heat level that suits you, keeping in mind that the mild version still has a nice kick to it.

Preparation: Makes 2 – 4 Servings


• Melt butter in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cilantro and garlic; cook until garlic begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Add piri-piri sauce and lemon juice. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 2 minutes. Glaze can be made up to 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Rewarm before using.


• Finely chop cilantro, ginger, shallot, and garlic in processor. Add piri-piri sauce, 1/4 cup oil, lemon juice, coarse salt, and pepper; process marinade to blend.

• Place chicken, skin side up, on work surface. Using palm of hand, press on breastbone to flatten chicken. Tuck wing tips under. Pour half of marinade into 11x7x2-inch glass baking dish. Open chicken like book; place skin side down in single layer in dish. Pour remaining marinade over. Cover; chill at least 4 hours or overnight, turning chicken occasionally.

• Remove top rack from barbecue. Prepare barbecue (medium heat). If using 2-burner gas grill, light 1 burner. If using 3-burner gas grill, do not light center burner. If using charcoal grill, light briquettes in chimney and pour onto 1 side of lower grill rack. Place disposable aluminum pan on unlit part of grill. Place upper grill rack on barbecue; brush with oil.

• Remove chicken from marinade. Arrange skin side up on grill rack above drip pan. Cover barbecue; grill until skin is browned and instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165°F, turning often, about 40 minutes. Transfer to platter. Pour warm glaze over.