Sundays are synonymous with braaiing in South Africa and this tradition is also shared by the Portuguese. In Portugal, family and friends gather in large numbers to braai lamb chops, sausages, beef and bay leaf “sosaties” (espetada), and of course, peri-peri chicken.
Peri-peri chicken is a spicy dish with roots in both Africa and Portugal. The dish was created in Angola and Mozambique when Portuguese settlers arrived with chilli peppers (known as “piri-piri” in Swahili).
This dish is easy to prepare and ideal if you’re entertaining a large group of people – chicken is an affordable meat option and a little bit of marinade will go a long way. For the most flavoursome chicken, marinade you chicken pieces for at least 4 hours before braaiing.
Frango Grelhado (Portuguese Grilled Chicken)
Preparation time: 5 min. + 4 hours (to marinate)
Cooking time: 25 min.
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 bay leaf, crumbled
1 tbsp. coarse salt
1 tbsp. smoked paprika
½ tsp. chili flakes / or fresh chopped chillies (deseeded)
½ tsp. freshly ground pepper
4 tbsp. olive oil
6 chicken thighs
1 lemon or lime, halved (optional garnish)
1) Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl (except chicken and lemon).
2) Add chicken thighs to a large Ziploc bag. Pour marinade over chicken pieces, seal bag, and shake bag to coat chicken. Leave in fridge to marinate.
3) Braai chicken over medium-high heat until chicken is tender and the juices run clear when gently pressed.
Optional: Squeeze a bit of lemon or lime over the cooked chicken thighs for an added flavour.
Serve with a green salad, fresh bread to soak up all the juices, and a glass of ReedValley Merlot.