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from: Southern Africa | cooking method: boiling-simmering

Piri-Piri Chicken

Piri-Piri Chicken, Peri-Peri Chicken, Frango Piri-Piri, and Frango à Cafreal are all basically the same dish: chicken, marinated in a hot chile pepper marinade, then grilled. The dish's Portuguese and African origins are clearly seen in its names. Frango and cafreal (or cafrial) are Portuguese for chicken, and grilled; and piri-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.

The most basic piri-piri marinade recipe calls for just oil, cayenne pepper or minced fresh hot chile pepper, and salt. Many piri-piri recipes add an acidic liquid (usually lemon or lime juice, or vinegar, or possibly wine or liquor) which adds a tang and tenderizes the chicken. More elaborate versions also include various other flavorings and spices. -- No quantities are given for the ingredients in these recipes: how you make your marinade depends on how much chicken you're cooking and what ingredients you like. (However, as a guide, the ingredients are listed by volume from largest to smallest.)

school in angola

What you need

What you do

One authentic African method is to "butterfly" a whole chicken, i.e., split a cleaned whole chicken down the center enough to allow it to lie flat, but without cutting it into two pieces; then flatten it by hitting it with a mallet or sturdy bottle; then coat the chicken with a marinade like # 1 and let it marinate for a few hours before grilling.

These marinades also work well with fish or shrimp. See LM Prawns.


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