Peri-Peri chicken, also called Piri-Piri, which means “pepper-pepper,” is the iconic chicken dish of South Africa. Nando’s, the popular non-kosher chain in the US, features this chicken. People agree that the recipe was first created by Portuguese settlers in Africa, when they discovered the African bird’s eye red chili. Yet many disagree whether the marinade has its origins in Angola or Mozambique. It is easy to prepare, and you control how much spice you use.
- 1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces (enough sauce for extra 2-3 pieces of chicken as well)
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 cup red wine or apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 2 red Thai chili peppers, seeds removed, or any other spicy, thin red chili pepper, chopped roughly (you can also find dried African bird’s eye chili peppers in the US)
- Juice of 1 lime
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ¼ cup oil
- 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ -1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Place the chicken into a large roasting pan. Combine all other ingredients a small saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook covered for ten minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes. Purée in a blender or food processor, and pour over the chicken and turn to coat. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
- Preheat an outdoor grill to 550 degrees. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove chicken from the marinade, reserving it, and grill for about 5 minutes each side. Meanwhile, place the marinade into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to medium and cook for 3 minutes, stirring a few times. Baste the chicken on both sides with the cooked marinade a few times, and grill until the chicken looks charred on both sides, or grilled to your liking.
- Place the chicken into a roasting pan and baste again. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until done. Remove from oven and baste again. Serve with any extra sauce alongside.