Peri- Peri Chicken Mozambique

Peri- Peri Chicken Mozambique

peri-peri Chicken also known as pili-pili or piri- piri chicken is a popular dish that originating in Mozambique is a mildly spicy luscious chicken dish bursting with interesting complex flavors from Peri-Peri SauceCreole Seasoning, lemon, and herbs. Then it is grilled or fried to perfection until tender and juicy.

What is peri-peri Chicken?

It is a spicy chicken dish, also known as Peri Peri, Chicken.  The peri-peri chicken dish originated in Mozambique, a country in southern Africa. It was brought to Mozambique by Portuguese colonists in the 16th century. The chicken is marinated in Piri-Piri Sauce along with other seasonings before grilling or frying it.

What is peri-peri Sauce?

peri-peri sauce is a Portuguese-African sauce made from chili peppers, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and other herbs and spices. The name “pili-pili” is derived from Swahili, which means “pepper”. It is believed to have originated in Mozambique, a country in southern Africa.

Pili-pili sauce ranges from mild hot to very hot, depending on the type of chili peppers used. It has a tangy, citrusy flavor with a hint of smoke. The sauce is often used as a marinade or dipping sauce for grilled meats, poultry, and seafood. It can also be used in soups, stews, and sauces.

Tips and Tricks for making Peri-Peri Chicken sauce

  1. Saute savory ingredients like onions, garlic, and other ingredients. Sauteing them will give a caramelized flavor to the sauce. 
  2. Use other chilis. peri-peri sauce can get its flavor and heat level from the kind of chilis used in making it. So, if you are not so much of a heat-tolerant then you can adjust the amount and kind of chilis to make it.
  3. Add other herbs and spices from your spice rack – this is especially common for homemade dishes; as long as you get the hot, savory, and sour taste of peri-peri sauce.
Storage Instructions for peri-peri sauce
  1. Refrigerate: Transfer the sauce to an airtight container or jar and keep refrigerated for 2 weeks.
  2. Freeze: Transfer the sauce to ice cube trays and keep it frozen for 2 months.

How to make Peri-Peri Chicken

Let us follow a step –by step process that will leave you happy and ready to make your peri-peri chicken at home.

Step 1: Prepare the Chicken marinade

Use the following ingredients for making the chicken marinade

  • Chili –pepers –use African birds eye chili pepper for the original version, but you may replace or mix it up with other chillis according to your preference.  
  • Onion – Gives bold flavor to this Mozambican chicken with its pungent and spicy flavor profile.
  • Lemon – It adds a refreshing citrus flavor to your chicken recipe. This also takes out the chicken’s funky taste and smell. You can also use lime if you ran out of lemon.
  • Salt and Pepper – These two seasonings may have the simplest and most basic taste but they can make any dish flavorful even in the absence of all the other seasonings.
  • Garlic –it makes the dish more savory. 
  • Red Bell Pepper – A type of bell pepper that has the least level of spice. It has a contrasting bitter and sweet taste which gives character to this easy peri-peri chicken recipe.
  • Basil– Aromatic herbs that blend well with other seasonings. It adds a distinct sweetness and minty flavor notes to the dish.
  • Olive Oil/ or any vegetable cooking oil – Don’t forget the oil, it helps in the absorption of all the great flavors making the grilled chicken amazingly delicious, any oil will do just fine.

Process for making the chicken marinade

  1. Remove the stems from the piri piri african birds eye chili peppers and roughly chop them. You can adjust the number of peppers based on your spice preference.
  2. In a blender or food processor, combine the chopped African chili peppers, onions, garlic cloves, lemon juice, basil, salt, and red bell pepper. Blend until you have a smooth paste
  3. Gradually drizzle in the olive oil or any oil while blending to emulsify the marinade

Step 2: Marinate the chicken

Chicken you can use any part of the chicken to grill. Feel free to use any meat you like for variation.

  1. Place the chicken pieces in a bowl or a zip-top bag
  2. Pour the peri-peri marinade over the chicken, making sure it’s well-coated
  3. Seal the bag or cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, but preferably overnight for maximum flavor

Step 3: Grill, Bake or cook the chicken

  1. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat or preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C)
  2. If grilling, oil the grill grates to prevent sticking. If baking, place the marinated chicken pieces on a baking sheet lined with foil
  3. Grill or bake the chicken until it’s cooked through and has a nicely charred exterior. This typically takes about 25-30 minutes, but the exact time will vary based on the size of your chicken pieces and your cooking method.

Step 4: serving the peri-peri chicken

  1. Serve the peri peri chicken hot, garnished with fresh herbs or lemon wedges if desired.
  2. Enjoy your homemade peri-peri chicken with your favorite sides, such as rice, vegetables, or a simple salad. Adjust the spiciness level to suit your taste by adding more or fewer chili peppers.

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