Marinada e Grilhada Piri-Piri


Though piri-piri comes in many shapes and forms, from bottled pastes to flavored oils, essentially it is a thumbnail sized, spicy dried chili pepper. It is of African origin and was transported to Portugal during the Age of Exploration. Portugal held outposts in today’s Angola and Mozambique as it sought to seize control of the valuable spice trade. Today the pepper is part of the Portuguese culinary repertoire and is an essential ingredient of the marinade for a simple grilled chicken. My marinade included piri-piri peppers, garlic and home made preserved lemon as its base.


I crushed the peppers with my blade or otherwise split them and chopped them up. I used a microplane to process the garlic to a pulp. As for the preserved lemons, I removed everything but the rind and rinsed it off before mincing it with my knife. I used what herbs that I had on hand, parsley and rosemary. Some cooks might include ginger, coriander or thyme. Just be generous with the amount of piri-piri that you use. And they do generate some heat.


Take two items, and make garlic bread. I have olive bread to play with.


Grill the bread, dry and on both sides.


Afterwards, when the bread is off the grill, rub it with the garlic clove, sprinkle on some good sea salt. Pour on good quality extra virgin olive oil all over. You’re done.


Grilled spring onions.


I pounded and flattened out the chicken breasts. Why? because I want them to cook quickly over a hot fire. This way they are less inclined to dry out. Pounding out the chicken also helps to tenderise the meat. They sat in the marinade for almost four hours.


Plain and simple. I dressed the plate with olive oil and lemon.


Thumbnail sized piri piri peppers. Thanks for reading. Eat like a peasant.