Monday, July 30, 2012

Piri Piri Chicken

                        Piri Piri Chicken with Roasted lemon potatoes

Pan grilled chicken and sweet peppers, simmered in a mildly hot, Portuguese-African sauce. I love this, quick and easy too. I've done a bit of research on this dish, and have been altering my original recipe, which, in turn, was altered from one of Jamie Oliver's 30 minute meals. It has a much deeper flavor now. I'm removing the old post.

Piri is Swahili for pepper, particularly, the African birds eye chili. It is said that this dish originated in Mozambique. The peppers were believed to have been brought to Africa, by Portuguese settlers.  It always seems, the most complex sauces come from combining cultures, no matter what part of the world it happens. Such as the The Caribbean, Mexico, the Louisiana bayou, just to name a few. Many of my favorite dishes derive from these cross cultures.

I've made this using green bell peppers, it was almost as good, but the sweetness of ripe bell peppers really compliments the sauce. I think I'm also going to try: Grilling the chicken outdoors, then basting on sauce, like BBQ sauce. I let you know how it turns out.

1tsp.-plus-1tbl. oil
boneless, chicken breast-thawed and flattened between two pieces of plastic-this sauce is enough for eight
1-to-3 Ripe bell peppers- julienne sliced (I use 1red,1yellow and 1orange, for a 3lb. bag of chicken breast.)
1/4 cup water

For the Piri Piri Sauce:
1 onion-diced
1Tbl. minced garlic
1/2tsp. pureed ginger
2 bird chili peppers- broken
2 red, ripe jalapenos-seeded and diced
1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika
Zest and juice from 1 lemon
1/4cup white wine vinegar
1Tbl.Worcestershire sauce
1/4cup water
1Tbl. dried basil
1/2tsp dried cilantro
1/2tsp dried thyme
1/2tsp. salt
1/4tsp. tarragon
1/2 of a bay leaf

Puree the sauce ingredients in a blender, until smooth.
Heat the tsp.of oil in a skillet. Saute the peppers until crisp-tender, remove the peppers from the skillet.
Add another Tbl. oil to the skillet, and turn the burner to a high flame.
Brown the chicken on both sides, cooking until the chicken is cooked through and lightly browned. Most of the browning occurs at the end of cooking.
Add the 1/4 of water to the hot pan, to de-glaze the bottom of the pan. This adds more flavor to the dish.
Add the peppers back to the pan, along with the sauce.
Simmer about 3-5 minutes, to allow the chicken to absorb the sauce. Serve hot.

                                        Puree the sauce ingredients.

                         Saute the peppers until they are crisp-tender.

     Pan grill the chicken until it is cooked through, and lightly browned.

De-glaze the pan with 1/4cup water. Add the peppers, chicken and sauce. Simmer for 3-5 minutes. Serve hot.


  1. Interesting post about this dish, recently a piri-piri restaurant has opened up close to me, maybe I'll try it.

    1. An African restaurant, I'll bet they'll have an interesting menu. I wish I lived a bit closer to a large city, 1-1/2hrs to St. Louis.