Spicy Malagueta Chicken

Spicy Malagueta Chicken Recipe

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Vickie Parks


This spicy garlic chicken is a favorite at many roadside restaurants throughout Panama in Central America. The red peppers add the right amount of sweetness and crunch to complement the spicy garlic chicken.

It's usually served with rice and fresh avocado slices. And It can be grilled or broiled. The chicken is really easy to prepare, and (besides marinading time) it also cooks rather quickly. Thighs are typically used for this dish, but breasts and legs work equally well.


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4 Hr 10 Min
30 Min



  • 2.2 lb
    boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 12 thighs)
  • 1 large
    red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 3/4 to 1 1/4-inch thick strips
  • ·
    sea salt, for seasoning
  • ·
    black pepper, for seasoning

  • 6 small
    red chilies (preferably malagueta chili peppers)
  • 3 clove
    garlic, lightly crushed
  • 4 Tbsp
    tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp
    dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp
    dried red pepper flakes (dry chili flakes)
  • 4 Tbsp
    red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp
    sweet paprika
  • 2 tsp
    sea salt
  • 1/4 c
    cooking oil (peanut oil, olive oil, or safflower oil)
  • 2 tsp
    superfine sugar (optional)

  • 2 Tbsp
  • 1 Tbsp
    cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp
    dijon mustard

How to Make Spicy Malagueta Chicken


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F (180°C).
  2. Split the chilies lengthwise and place them in a small roasting tray with the garlic and olive oil. Roast for 10 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes, then put the roasted chilies, garlic and oil in a small food processor or blender. Add the tomato paste, oregano, red pepper flakes, red wine vinegar, paprika, salt, oil, and sugar (if using), and blend to a smooth puree.
  3. Trim off any excess fat from the chicken thighs. Place them in a bowl, add the marinade and toss to coat evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. Let the chicken marinate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
  4. Make the Honey-Mustard Glaze by stirring the honey, vinegar and mustard together in a small bowl; set aside.
  5. Preheat the broiler if cooking indoors, or prepare grill if cooking outdoors.
  6. Thread bell pepper strips and chicken thighs onto 5 metal skewers. Season with sea salt and pepper, and broil or grill for 10 to 15 minutes, turning occasionally. Baste with honey glaze, and return skewers to broiler or grill for a few more minutes until the glaze is caramelized and the chicken is cooked through. The chicken thighs should be golden brown and feel firm when ready. Remove skewers, and let rest for a few minutes before serving.

Printable Recipe Card

About Spicy Malagueta Chicken

Course/Dish: Chicken
Main Ingredient: Chicken
Regional Style: Latin American

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