Piri Piri African chicken, Peri-Peri chicken, Frango Piri Piri, and Frango à Cafreal are all basically the same dish: chicken, marinated in a hot chile pepper marinade, then grilled. The dish’s Portuguese and African origins are clearly seen in its names. Frango and cafreal (or cafrial) are Portuguese for chicken, and grilled; and piri-piri or peri-peri are the pan-African words for chile pepper. This dish evolved in Angola and Mozambique (once Portuguese colonies) after Portuguese explorers and settlers brought American chile peppers to Africa. The Portuguese also took the peppers and the cafreal to other parts of the world, notably Goa, India. Spicy-hot Piri Piri African chicken is now so popular in Portugal that it is regarded as a Portuguese dish. The most basic piri-piri marinade recipe calls for just oil, cayenne pepper or minced fresh hot chile pepper, and salt. Many piri-piri recipes add an acidic liquid (usually lemon or lime juice, or vinegar, or possibly wine or liquor) which adds a tang and tenderizes the chicken.
Let’s see how to prepare a lovely Piri Piri African chicken. In a large bowl, stir together the paprika, chili powder, lemon juice, garlic, ginger and salt. Rub chicken with the mixture, place in a dish, and marinate for 3 hours.
Preheat a grill for medium heat. Place chicken onto the grill and discard the marinade. Cook for about 30 minutes, turning occasionally, until the skin is slightly charred and juices run clear. Serve Piri Piri African chicken quite hot.