Pili Pili Spiced Chicken

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This chicken is simply divine. Generously rubbed with exotic spices and grilled to perfection, it will be a hit at your next barbecue. Make sure to complete your meal with grilled potatoes and vegetables and enjoy the taste of Africa!

Yield: Serves 6

Pili Pili Chicken

Pili Pili Chicken

Full of flavor, this intriguing blend of spices combine heat from ginger and chiles alongside the bold flavors of paprika and garlic, with an aromatic chorus of cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg to make this unusual mix a power-house of flavor. This blend of spices is a great addition to any summer barbeque.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 3 lbs chicken quarters, with bone and skin
  • 1½ tsp hot chili powder
  • 1½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ¼ tsp cardamom
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground fenugreek
  • 1½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 3 tbsp olive oil


  1. Rinse chicken and pat dry.
  2. Mix all the spices with the oil until it makes a smooth paste, then rub this all over the chicken. Cover and leave this to marinade in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  3. Heat a barbecue to medium/low heat. Season the chicken and place it skin side down. Cook over a low heat for 15 -20 minutes until deep golden, then turn over and repeat on the other side. (You want this to be over a low heat but to be lightly sizzling – if it is too hot it will burn on the outside.) Continue to cook like this for 30-40 minutes depending on the size of the chicken, turning the chicken over every 10 minutes to make sure it doesn’t burn. The chicken will take 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes to cook depending on its size. Check the chicken by inserting a skewer into the middle – if clear juices run out, it is ready. Or insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat (do not let it touch the bone) when temperature reads 165 degrees the chicken is done.
  4. Transfer to a chopping board and leave to rest for around 10 minutes before serving.
  5. Serve with your favorite side dishes.

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