Periperi Chicken

Periperi chicken is a deliciously spicy, zesty grilled chicken that has its roots in Angola and Mozambique, two former Portuguese colonies. The star ingredient for this recipe is the bird's eye pepper.

The word periperi is the name for the bird's eye chilli pepper, which is the star ingredient for this recipe. The recipe is from Angola and Mozambique, countries in the southern part of Africa. What these two countries have in common is that they were once Portuguese colonies.

The Portuguese fell in love with periperi that they took it with them. Today, many erroneously refer to Perperi chicken and sauce as Portuguese but they are South African flavours.

The great thing about this recipe is that the ingredients are readily available. You may already have them in your fridge and pantry. No fancy tool required. You only need to decide how hot you want it as this is very spicy. Check out this post to find out if spice is good for you.

Apart from the chilli, this recipe includes my favourite vegetables, onion, garlic and bell pepper. There is hardly any recipe worth talking about that onion and garlic are not a part of. Then, also worthy of mention is lemon. Again, hardly anything that lemon will not make better. To finish up the marinade of flavours is the acidity of the vinegar. Wow! I can't wait to get cooking and start eating.

How To Cook PeriPeri Chicken

Periperi Chicken


Prep Time: 2-24hours

Cooking Time: 30min


  • 2 kg chicken thigh or drumsticks
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 small bell pepper or half of large one
  • 1 small onion
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 6-8 bird eye peppers(Thai pepper or any chilli pepper of choice)
  • 1 teaspoon of ground thyme
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste


Transfer all ingredients except chicken to your food processor or blender and puree. This is your marinade.

Transfer pureed ingredients into a bowl and completely immersed the chicken in the puree.

Cover with a cling wrap and leave overnight in the fridge.

The next day, turn on your grill to medium heat that IS, 300-350F, place chicken on the grate and slowly cook 8-10 minutes on each side or until internal temperature is 160F. Medium or low heat helps your chicken cook slowly instead of getting charred on the outside, and uncooked inside. It also reduces excessive charring of your food. Charred food has been linked to increased risk of cancer. If you yours is charred scrape off the burnt side before serving.

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Try this when next you have a barbeque and let me know how it all went. Tag me on instagram or summit your pictures below:

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