Tonight i’m visiting my brother in Ontario, and after checking out the local farmers market and getting some fresh chicken and beans, we made this.
A few years ago, Drew and I were volunteering in Mozambique. During one long bus journey, the conductor went down the aisle to take dinner orders for pickup at the next rest stop. Since we hasn’t eaten much meat in a few weeks, we decided to share a chicken meal. Oh goodness! We picked up a fresh-off-the-grill, perfectly charred, salty grilled half-chicken with a mysterious fresh rub (garlicky, spicy, with a hint of lemon) all served over a bed of crisp fries. We devoured the whole thing hunched over our styrofoam box in our bus row.
Well, I wouldn’t claim to replicate that incredible meal, but when I got home I started googling “Mozambique chicken” and found some piri piri chicken recipes. I don’t claim that this is authentic, but it is delicious. This is a fresh zesty marinade for a summer grill when you want chicken but aren’t feeling keen on a sticky sweet sauce.
Piri Piri chicken
2 bone in chicken breast (bone in, skin on)
3 tsp. Salt (or to taste)
1 quart Water
1 knob of ginger (about an inch), grated
4-5 cloves garlic, minced or grated
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1/2 lime
Salt to taste (1/4 to 1/2 tsp)
2 T. oil
1/2 c. chopped cilantro or parsley
1 hot chili pepper (e.g. Thai bird pepper), minced
1. Combine salt and water to make a brine (to taste). Submerge chicken breast in brine and plan on leaving for 30-60 min. while you prep other ingredients. (Brining makes chicken juicier when cooking).
2. Combine marinade ingredients. Can blend/process or grate/pound. It’s a spicy marinade, but some of the heat dissipates when cooking. You can decrease the spiciness by adding more parsley/cilantro and oil.
3. Drain chicken after brining and slather on marinade. I’d recommend stuffing some marinade under the skin. Let it sit for at least 30 min.
4. In the meantime, heat up the grill and set up a cool zone by placing a pan of water in the grill and heaping coals beside it.
5. Cook chicken breast over the cool zone of the grill with the cover on (approx 10 min per side, but use a meat thermometer to check!!!!). When almost all the way cooked, shift chicken to the hot zone to crisp up the skin and char the marinade a little.