If there is one thing Mozambique is famous for, it is certainly the delicious and excellently prepared food. Strongly influenced by the Portuguese flavouring and cooking methods, the food is spicy, tangy and mouth-wateringly fantastic! If you’re craving some of that beloved Piri Piri Grilled Chicken, why not try making it yourself? Here’s a recipe!
Mozambique Piri Piri Grilled Chicken
Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 60 mins Total time: 1 hour 15 mins
Dish type: Main Cuisine: African Serves: 4-5
Note – Some preparation steps are best done a day or two before you’re ready to get your grill on!
1 chicken left whole or pre-portioned
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon (optional)
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup chopped onions
¼ medium red pepper
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, coarsely chopped, seeds removed
1 fresh chili pepper, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon salt
3-4 garlic cloves
Juice of 1 medium sized lemon (adjust to taste)
4 large basil leaves
1-2 tablespoons fresh oregano
½ cup coconut milk
1. Make your own Piri Piri marinade! Best left to mature for a few days
a. Blend the red pepper, jalapeno pepper, chili pepper, garlic, basil, oregano, and onions in a food processor or blender.
b. Add in the olive oil to facilitate blending.
c. Then mix in smoked paprika, lemon juice, black or white pepper and coconut milk. Adjust for salt and seasoning.
d. Refrigerate and use when ready. It isn’t a necessity but we suggest you make this a day or more ahead of time, letting it mature and really come into its own before letting it have its way with your chicken.
2. Trim the chicken of excess fat and pat dry with a cloth or paper napkin. Rub with lemon and season with salt, chicken bouillon and pepper.
3. Drench the chicken with your excellent homemade Piri Piri marinade (if you haven’t eaten it all yet!) and place it all in a zip lock bag or sealed containers and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight so that it really soaks up all of those flavours.
4. When you’re ready to grill your chicken, because by this point you must be famished, use tongs to remove the chicken from the Piri Piri marinade and remove excess marinade. Reserve the excess marinade for later.
5. Preheat your grill to medium- high heat and if you’re having a good old fashioned braai, the general braai master rule is: If you can hold your hand over the grill for 10 seconds and survive to tell your tale, then you’re good to go when cooking chicken.
6. Now is the time to place your chicken on the grill and grill it good for about 10-15 minutes on each side. You will need to turn the chicken occasionally on each side until it is cooked all the way through and the skin is nice and crispy. Do this in batches if you have a small grill.
7. In a small saucepan simmer the remaining Piri Piri marinade for about 7 minutes. Serve this as a dipping sauce with the chicken.
Oven Baked – When you just want to pop it in the oven!
1. When you’re ready to bake, preheat oven to 200°C.
2. Line a large baking pan with tinfoil and top this with a wire baking rack. Arrange chicken pieces out in a single layer.
3. Bake chicken until cooked through and skin is crispy, this takes about 45-50 minutes. Remember to flip the pieces over halfway through the baking process, roughly 20 minutes in.
You have just made your own Mozambique Piri Piri Sauce and Piri Piri Chicken, your friends and family now think you are a hero and your appetite will forever be satiated should you be longing for this delicacy and missing beautiful Mozambique. If all else failed and you didn’t quite get it right, don’t worry, pop in to San Martinho Beach Club™ and we’ll point you in the direction of some truly fantastic restaurants!