Peri-peri, piri-piri or pili-pili? Confusing, right? Well, I found out they’re all pretty much the same thing. According to this article, peri-peri, or piri-piri, refers to a type of bird’s eye chillis (or the paste made from them) commonly used in southern African countries such as Mozambique and South Africa. Pili-pili is similar, but refers to another kind of chili – orange scotch bonnet – and the paste made from it, found in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Recently, I was asked to make peri-peri chicken for dinner. I’d eaten peri-peri chicken a few times at Nando’s, the popular South African restaurant chain, and also a couple other times at East African restaurants, but I’d never made it before. To get started, I needed to do some research! I came across this recipe, which seemed easy enough. I used Thai bird’s eye chillis, which are readily available here, and added more to make it spicier. I also added coriander powder, which probably makes this not a very authentic peri-peri recipe, but I don’t think anyone will care when they taste how yummy these wings are!
I baked these wings in the oven, and poured the leftover marinade on top. So they’re saucy enough that you don’t need any dips. They’re deliciously tender and juicy! If you’re looking for a new way to make wings, do give this recipe a try!
(Adapted from Donal Skehan)
PERI-PERI CHICKEN WINGS
12 whole chicken wings, cut into drumettes and wingettes
4-5 Thai bird’s eye chillis, deseeded and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4-5 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
chopped cilantro, for garnish (optional)
1. Place the wings in a bowl and mix with all the ingredients. Marinate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and lightly grease it.
3. Place wings on baking sheet, pour any remaining marinade over the wings. Bake for 30 minutes, turning them over halfway through. Remove from oven and leave to rest.
4. If you prefer your wings more browned, move baking sheet to the top rack in oven, and broil for a few additional minutes, keeping a close eye on them.
5. Garnish with chopped cilantro, if desired.