Pepe chicken

Pepe chicken

Home-ground West African pepper, scotch bonnet chillies and peanut butter are key to this crisp-and-fiery chicken thigh recipe, straight from the street vendors of Sierra Leone
  • Preparation:
  • Cooking:
  • Total:
  • Serves: 8 persons



  1. Step 1

    To make the pepper blend, toast all the spices in a dry pan over a medium heat until fragrant. Allow to cool then grind in a spice grinder or with a pestle and mortar. Store in an airtight jar – it will stay fresh for up to three months.
  2. Step 2

    For the pepe marinade, put all the ingredients plus 2 tsp of salt in the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth and well combined. Cook in a pan over a medium heat for 10-15 mins, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until the marinade has thickened. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Let the marinade cool.
  3. Step 3

    Put the chicken thighs in a large glass or ceramic bowl, pour over half the marinade (you can freeze the rest or keep it for up to a week covered in the fridge) and massage it into the chicken. Cover and marinate in the fridge for 2-3 hrs or overnight.
  4. Step 4

    Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Arrange the chicken pieces in a single layer in a baking tin. Roast for 35-40 mins, basting occasionally, until cooked through (they are ready when the juices run clear when pierced in the thickest part of the thigh with a skewer). Alternatively you can cook the thighs on a barbecue – baste them regularly and turn them frequently until cooked through.