118 Mozambique – Piri-Piri Chicken

118 Mozambique - Piri-Piri Chicken

Piri-Piri Chicken

I decided I was going to make the Piri-Piri sauce from scratch instead of buying a bottle. I made the sauce and moved on to make the Piri-Piri chicken recipe. I made the glaze and marinade which each only used a small amount of my homemade Piri-Piri sauce. The day I decided to grill this chicken it was too windy to keep a flame lit. I moved the operation into the house and spatchcocked the bird in the oven. This process baptized my oven in chicken fat. I hate cleaning the oven. This recipe was a lot of work for just ok flavor. Next time I will just use my leftover homemade Piri-Piri sauce, which tasted great by itself, and rotisserie it on a calm day.

Piri-Piri Sauce


2 large red bell peppers char grilled

1 large red onion char grilled

4 cloves garlic minced

1/2 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar

zest of one lemon finely grated

10 small red Thai chilis roughly chopped (more to taste for hotter sauce)

1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika or plain paprika

1 1/2 tsp dried oregano

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp black pepper

2 leaves bay

To finish the sauce (when cooked)

1/4 cup lemon juice

zest of one lemon finely minced

1/4 cup red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil


1. Start by roasting the red peppers and onions. This can be done on a gas grill, under the broiler or on a cast iron grill pan. You want to get good char marks on the outside of the peppers and onions. Don’t worry if they are not fully cooked, they will get fully cooked in the sauce.

2. Chop the peppers and onions and add them to a food processor or blender. You can us an immersion blender if that is all you have on hand, just take the time to get the ingredients well pureed.

3. Add the garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, lemon zest, red Thai chilis, smoked paprika, oregano, salt and pepper to the food processor with the grilled onions and peppers and puree until smooth.

4. Transfer the sauce to a medium saucepan, add the bay leaves and simmer slowly for 20-30 minutes.

5. Let the sauce cool to warm. Remove the bay leaves then return the sauce to the food processor again.

6. Add the additional lemon juice, red wine vinegar and lemon zest. Puree for another few minutes until very smooth. Slowly add in the olive oil in a thin stream as the processor is running.

Piri-Piri Chicken



3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons piri-piri sauce or other hot pepper sauce

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled, thinly sliced

1 large shallot, peeled, quartered

3 garlic cloves, peeled

1/2 cup piri-piri sauce or other hot pepper sauce

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for brushing

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 3 1/2- to 4-pound chicken, backbone removed, opened flat

1 11 3/4 x 8 1/2 x 1 1/4-inch disposable aluminum baking pan (to catch drips)

Ingredient info: Bottled piri-piri sauce is available at specialty foods stores and online from africantradingco.com. Choose the heat level that suits you, keeping in mind that the mild version still has a nice kick to it.


For glaze:

Melt butter in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cilantro and garlic; cook until garlic begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Add piri-piri sauce and lemon juice. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 2 minutes. DO AHEAD: Glaze can be made up to 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Rewarm before using.

For chicken:

Finely chop cilantro, ginger, shallot, and garlic in processor. Add piri-piri sauce, 1/4 cup oil, lemon juice, coarse salt, and pepper; process marinade to blend.

Place chicken, skin side up, on work surface. Using palm of hand, press on breastbone to flatten chicken. Tuck wing tips under. Pour half of marinade into 11x7x2-inch glass baking dish. Open chicken like book; place skin side down in single layer in dish. Pour remaining marinade over. Cover; chill at least 4 hours or overnight, turning chicken occasionally.

Remove top rack from barbecue. Prepare barbecue (medium heat). If using 2-burner gas grill, light 1 burner. If using 3-burner gas grill, do not light center burner. If using charcoal grill, light briquettes in chimney and pour onto 1 side of lower grill rack. Place disposable aluminum pan on unlit part of grill. Place upper grill rack on barbecue; brush with oil.

Remove chicken from marinade. Arrange skin side up on grill rack above drip pan. Cover barbecue; grill until skin is browned and instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165°F, turning often, about 40 minutes. Transfer to platter. Pour warm glaze over.

Original recipes found here:



Author: martymadeitproductions

A Home Chef's Journey

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