Piri – Piri Chicken

The name Piri-Piri is derived from the Swahili word piri meaning – pepper, the primary ingredient in this spicy sauce is the small but very hot birds eye chili. This species is very popular with a wide variety of African bird species, which help to spread their seeds far and wide. This interesting sauce has its origins in Southern Africa, from about the 15th Century when the first Portuguese explorers rounded the Cape in search of a spice route to India.

I had fun this week going through all the family recipes with my Mum and my sister in law and had to share this family favorite from my Grandfather Henry Ferreira.

  • 12 chicken pieces
  • 2 red peppers char grilled on the braai
  • 1 red onion char grilled on the braai
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon chili power or 12 -15 red chillies
  • 1 pinch of course salt
  • 1 teaspoon of green pepper corns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbspoon of olive oil

Blend or puree’peppers and onions. Add Garlic, 1/2 lemon juice, vinegar ,salt and pepper – blend or puree’. Transfer to a pan with bay leaf and simmer for 25 minutes

Allow to cool and add 1/2 cup lemon juice 1/2 cup vinegar and slowly blend in oil

Marinate your chicken kebabs / chicken pieces overnight. You can cook your chicken on a braai , where you get that lovely smokey flavor on a low heat, or in the oven 200 degrees Celsius and cook for about 45 minutes.

Basting sauce

1/2 cup marinade add a further tablespoon of olive oil and a teaspoon of apricot jam – 5 mins before removing from the braai /oven baste with marinade sauce +

Serve with a cucumber salad with tomatoes, feta cheese. olives and onion

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