Hey there, foodies! Every trip to Nando’s had my son and me craving more of that Peri-Peri Chicken. Being a chef, I couldn’t resist the challenge. After growing some fiery bird’s eye chilies in my garden, I whipped up a sauce that’s a game-changer. Ready to elevate your chicken game? Join me in this flavourful adventure! Let’s master the Peri-Peri Chicken magic together!
- Versatile: Sauce & spice blend included.
- Substitute: Use dried if fresh chilies are unavailable.
- Use: Great for marinating & dipping.
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The Essence of Peri Peri Chicken
Piri Piri’s Journey to Africa:
Ever wondered about Peri Peri Chicken’s origins? “Peri Peri”, or “Piri Piri”, is a fiery spice blend that first captivated Africa and then the world. Its name, derived from the Swahili term for “pepper pepper”, hints at its heat.
In the late 15th century, Portuguese explorers discovered the Bahian Sauce Chilli in Brazil. As they established trade routes and colonies, they introduced this chilli to their African colonies, like Mozambique and Angola. Quickly, it became a culinary staple, symbolizing a blend of cultures and the rich tapestry of global culinary exchanges.
Crafting the Perfect Spice Blend
At the heart of Peri Peri seasoning lies a medley of spices: Peri Peri chili peppers, paprika, garlic, lemon, and onion. While the precise mix might differ across regions or chefs, the outcome remains consistent – a spicy, savoury concoction with a citrusy zing from lemon and subtle sweetness from paprika.
A Culinary Journey
Tracing back to its African roots, Peri Peri first emerged as a marinade for grilled delicacies. As its fame spread across borders, it seamlessly integrated into diverse cuisines, enhancing dishes like grilled chicken, seafood, and vegetables, and even enriching sauces and marinades. Today, its popularity has skyrocketed, with global chains like Nando’s championing Peri Peri chicken dishes, making it a household name and a favourite for many around the world.
Versatility in Every Sprinkle
One of Peri Peri’s sauces standout qualities is its adaptability. Whether you have a preference for mild flavours or crave a spicy kick, you can tailor the seasoning ingredients to your liking. Its dynamic nature allows it to complement a wide array of dishes, making it a cherished ingredient in your kitchen kitchens.
Chef’s Journey in Cultivating Piri Piri
The vibrant Bahian Sauce Chilli, commonly known as Piri Piri, thrives effortlessly in home containers, reaching heights of just one meter. Cultivating Peri Peri Chicken’s star ingredient has never been easier! Each plant yields a bounty of chillies. Beware of their kick, though; with a Scoville rating between 60,000 to 100,000 SHU, they pack a punch. If the heat gets too intense, blend in some bell peppers to mellow it down. Interestingly, the smaller chillies are dubbed Malaguetinha or Piri Piri, while their larger counterparts are called Malagueta, each with its unique spice intensity. These variations arise from the same plant but at distinct maturity phases. Ready to embark on this spicy journey? Sow your seeds starting in January, you can get seeds from here!
Guide to Preparing the Peri-Peri Blend and Sauce:
Peri Peri Chicken: Seasoning & Sauce Recipe
Peri Peri Dry Seasoning Ingredients:
Peri Peri Sauce Ingredients:
Peri Peri Chicken Ingredients:
- 4 Chicken breasts cut in half
Peri Peri Dry Seasoning Recipe:
- In a spice blender, combine all the dry ingredients. This seasoning can be used as a rub for marinating chicken. To best preserve its flavour, store the spice blend in a vacuum-sealed bag or a tightly sealed container.
Peri Peri Sauce Recipe:
- Fresh Chilies: If you want a milder sauce, you can deseed some or all of the fresh chilies. For a hotter sauce, leave all the seeds in.Dried Chilies: If using dried bird's eye chilies, you'll need to rehydrate them. Place the dried chilies in a bowl and pour hot water over them. Let them soak for about 30 minutes or until they become soft. Once rehydrated, you can deseed them if you prefer a milder sauce.Substitution: If you can't find bird's eye chilies, you can substitute with cayenne peppers or another hot chili variety. Adjust the quantity based on the heat level of the substitute and your preference.
- In a blender or food processor, combine the chilies, garlic, onion, red bell pepper, lemon juice, and red wine vinegar. Blend until everything is finely chopped.
- Add the paprika, oregano, sugar and salt. Blend again to mix well.
- While the blender or food processor is running, slowly drizzle in the oil until the sauce emulsifies and the ingredients are well combined.
- Pour the mixture into a saucepan and bring it to a simmer over medium heat. Let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes. This will meld the flavours together and mellow out the vinegar's sharpness.
- Allow the sauce to cool. Once cooled, transfer it to a sterilized glass jar or bottle. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month. Enjoy!
Peri Peri Chicken Recipe:
- Score the chicken and thoroughly coat it with oil and Peri Peri seasoning blend. You can add a ladle of sauce to your marination instead of oil. For the best results, marinate the chicken overnight.
- Begin by preheating your grill or frying pan to a medium-high setting. When preparing to grill chicken breasts, it's essential to cook them thoroughly until their internal temperature registers at 72°C (162°F). Once you've finished grilling, allow the chicken pieces to rest for at least 5 minutes prior to serving.
- Serve and savor the robust, spicy taste of your peri peri chicken! For a well-rounded meal, consider pairing it with crispy French fries, a refreshing coleslaw or garden salad, some grilled vegetables, and perhaps a creamy garlic dip or tzatziki sauce. A chilled beverage like iced tea or a sparkling lemonade would complement the spiciness perfectly.
- Usage: While peri-peri sauce is traditionally used for chicken, it’s versatile and can be used for other meats, seafood, or even as a spicy dressing for salads and veggies.
- Marinating: For best results when using as a marinade, allow your meat or seafood to marinate for at least 2 hours or, ideally, overnight in the refrigerator.
- Serving Suggestion: Peri-peri sauce pairs well with a side of fresh lemon wedges and a sprinkle of chopped cilantro or parsley for added freshness.
From the Chef
I hope you enjoy this fantastic recipe for Peri Peri sauce and seasoning! Did you tweak it in any way? Did you end up growing you own chillies? What accompanied your delicious dipping sauce? I’d love to hear your insights in the comments. Don’t forget to hit the star button! Happy cooking!