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5 Peri-Peri Chicken Sauces for a Spicy Stay-in Date

5 Peri-Peri Chicken Sauces for a Spicy Stay-in Date
Surprise your loved one with a full, restaurant-style peri-peri chicken meal.

Are you planning a stay-in date on Valentine’s Day? Treat your loved one to a restaurant-quality meal that doesn’t eat up your budget but still delivers on taste. Impress your partner with flavor-loaded peri-peri chicken, paired with an army of scintillating dipping sauces! The best part? It won’t require you to spend an entire day slaving away in the kitchen. You’ll even have time to dress up the dining room and set the mood.

How many peri-peri chicken sauces should you make? As many as you want! Two might be the minimum, while three can up the excitement. But why not go all out and offer five? Don’t worry, you can prepare them way ahead and even reuse leftovers for other dishes. You and your significant other will surely enjoy mixing and matching the options and finding a favorite. You can even combine them to make new blends. And that’s how date nights become more fun!

How to Cook Peri-Peri Chicken?

Cook peri-peri chicken over hot coals to get that signature char on the surface.

Peri-peri chicken can trace its roots to Portuguese explorers in southern Africa in the 15th century. They discovered peri-peri, an African bird’s eye chili, and combined it with spices and European flavorings to produce a distinctly spicy sauce. Traders eventually brought it to other countries, where it gained popularity as a marinade and dip.

Peri-peri is all about the sauce: a unique blend of red peppers, garlic, lemon, vinegar, and paprika. Others also include onions, bay leaves, basil, oregano, citrus, and spirits. It’s punchy, peppery, and just delicately mouth-numbing. To maximize its potential, marinate your meat in the mixture overnight. Also, continue basting your protein with the sauce throughout grilling over hot coals.

While the usual star of peri-peri recipes is a whole chicken, you can use it for specific poultry cuts, pork, and seafood. You can also take the vegetarian route and try it with mushrooms, tofu, and corn. The possibilities are limitless!

5 Peri-Peri Chicken Sauces to Make at Home

Pair your peri-peri chicken with various sauces to round out the experience.

Find that your chicken is too spicy? Or do you think you added too much vinegar to the marinade? Balance out flavors with various peri-peri chicken sauces! And even if you feel you already perfected your protein, these dips will help round out the experience and double the fun. Get those pantry staples ready and start mixing!

1. Sweet teriyaki sauce

Nothing beats a classic sweet-and-salty teriyaki sauce! Mix soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, and a touch of sesame oil over low heat. Add a thickener like cornstarch to create a consistency you’re happy with. Remove from heat, let cool, and mix in toasted sesame seeds or chopped green onions. 

2. Pinoy spiced vinegar

Grilled chicken becomes more delicious when paired with the tang of local coconut vinegar. Blend it with red or green chilies, garlic slices, and ginger, then keep it in a bottle for a couple of weeks for flavors to meld.

3. Spicy harissa sauce

Harissa is a red pepper-based sauce well-loved in Africa and the Middle East. Use it if you want more heat in your chicken. To make, blend dried chilies, garlic, lime juice, canned red peppers, smoked paprika, coriander, cumin, cayenne, and extra-virgin olive oil into a paste.

4. Smoky peri-peri BBQ sauce

Homemade peri-peri BBQ sauce can come together in minutes. Mix ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper in a small saucepan. Heat over low just until warmed, then use as needed.

5. Sweet paprika mayonnaise

Make a rich and creamy dipping sauce with Lady’s Choice Real Mayonnaise, chopped garlic, a touch of Worcestershire sauce, a squeeze of lemon juice, smoked paprika, and salt to taste. Store in a container and chill until ready to use.

After preparing the peri-peri chicken and mixing your sauces, don’t forget to make your sides! For the full restaurant-inspired experience, complete your meal with spiced rice, mashed potatoes, or flour tortillas. Take it up a notch by also whipping up buttered corn and carrots, coleslaw, and mac ‘n’ cheese. And don’t forget about dessert! This date night will be one for the books.

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