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Piri-Piri chicken

February 17, 2011

Piri-Piri chicken, marinated in a hot chile pepper marinade, then grilled. The dish’s Portuguese and African origins are clearly seen in its names. Frango andcafreal (or cafrial) are Portuguese for chicken, and grilled; andpiri-piri or peri-peri are the pan-African words for chile pepper. This dish evolved in Angola and Mozambique (once Portuguese colonies) after Portuguese explorers and settlers brought American chile peppers to Africa. The Portuguese also took the peppers and the cafreal to other parts of the world, notably Goa, India. Spicy-hot Frango Piri-Piri is now so popular in Portugal that it is regarded as a Portuguese dish.

Now that you have that vital information, you should SO try this marinade.  If you google it, you’ll come up with a gazillion recipes.  This was adapted from a few different ones and made my own.    If you fall in love with Piri-Piri then definitely create your own.

Piri-Piri Chicken

5 small chicken breast (no skin, no bones)

8 cloves of garlic minced

1/3 cup Jack Daniels

the juice and zest of 3 lemons

2 tsp smoked paprika

Marinade your chicken in this mixture for 1 to 1/2 hrs.  I used Jack Daniels because it was the smallest bottle of whisky available but feel free to buy something cheaper.

Remove chicken from marinade and barbecue or grill.   In the meantime microwave or simmer leftover marinade with 2 or 3 hot peppers thrown in for at least 7 minutes (this removes any possible bacteria from the chicken).

Once chicken is cooked, serve with spiralized sweet potatoes and broccoli.  Don’t forget to drizzle the left marinade over everything for a good punch.

I looove a good marinade.   Just be careful not to go over 90 minutes because the ever so powerful Jim Beam will cook your chook!

I’d love to get your favorite chicken marinade

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Lisa permalink
    February 18, 2011 8:24 am

    Two questions. First, is smoked paprika a lot different than regular paprika? Second, what do you do with the left over jack?

    • February 18, 2011 9:39 am

      Smoked paprika is much better to marinade and bbq with because of the obvious ‘smoked’ flavour. Regular paprika has very little flavour and mostly used for colour.

      Left over jack? what left overs?

  2. sandra permalink
    February 19, 2011 1:41 pm

    Hey .Nice history lesson ! I always thought that the Portuguese, brought the spice from Africa to the USA. Have you tried the Portuguese potatoes? They are very tasty and go well with this dish!

    • February 19, 2011 3:32 pm

      Well I think that’s true. The Africans just made it their own and changed it up. Funny I always thought Piri-Piri was Indonesian for some reason..not sure why. Send me your recipe for portuguese potatoes.

  3. sandra permalink
    February 20, 2011 5:22 am


    Read more about it at,1650,158172-238205,00.html
    Content Copyright © 2011 – All rights reserved.

    12 med. potatoes, boiled in skin & cubed
    1 lg. onion, sauteed in 1 tbsp. butter
    2 (8 oz.) jars Cheese Whiz Mexican cheese, melted
    Sm. jar chopped pimento, drained
    3 slices bread, toasted & cubed
    1/2 lb. bacon, cooked & broken in pieces
    1/2 stick butter, melted
    1 tsp. garlic salt
    1 tsp. paprika
    Parsley flakes

    Place cubed potatoes in 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle over potatoes the onion, pimento, bread, bacon and seasonings. Top with melted cheese and butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

    Hi this is the closest i found . I do not use cheese on the potatoes and use olive oil instead of butter ( for the lactose princess) Instead of bread , I use carrots or onions mixed with it. Also please add some tomatoe paste when mixing it all together.
    Good luck

    • February 20, 2011 3:20 pm

      Thanks for recipe. I’m glad you don’t use the processed cheese stuff – yuck. This looks great

  4. March 12, 2011 1:40 am

    I’ve seen piri-piri chicken a few times over the blogosphere and have always been intrigued! This version sounds really really delicious, so I might see it into fruition next week! =)

    • March 12, 2011 3:31 pm

      Hi Peggy, thanks for stopping by. I would add a little more sugar and heat if I was you…just to kick it up a notch.

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