Recipe: pepper chicken and sweet potato rosti from CHAM CHAM

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Saturday, August 20, 2016 - 00:00

Nimatu Owino, of CHAM CHAM supper club, shares her recipe for a chicken dish perfect for barbecue season.

‘This is the perfect chicken dish to start off the barbecuing season. Pepper chicken reminds me of family parties when I was growing up, where there were trays upon trays of this nutty and peppery chicken. There was always a non-pepper version for the kids. You could say it is a West African version of satay chicken but certainly more fiery, with just enough heat to get your tongue tingling and not mask the gorgeous flavours.

‘This dish can also be roasted in the oven. Both cooking methods are just as good though with barbecuing you get a crispier charred skin and amazing smoked flavour, that just takes it to another level! Teamed with roasted lemons and sweet potato rostis, this will be your go-to dish for all your summer barbecues.

‘You can make a large batch of this marinade and then split it up into smaller batches to freeze. It’ll keep for a month and means half your prep is done for your barbecuing feast. It is best to marinate the chicken overnight for it to be truly tasty from the skin to the bone.

pepper chicken and sweet potato rosti

Africa Utopia - CHAM CHAM - Pepper Chicken
​​​​​​​This recipe serves four
ingredients, for the pepper chicken
  • 4 large chicken thighs with skin (if you’re not keen on chicken skin, at least keep it on to barbecue so as to keep it moist)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 salad tomato
  • 1 ½ tbsp peanut butter - I use Whole Earth organic crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ white onion
  • 4 lemons, juiced
  • 1 tsp Scotch bonnet pepper - I usually have a jar of blitzed Scotch bonnet in the fridge and top it with a little olive oil so it keeps longer.)
  • 1/3 low-salt Kallo vegetable stock cube
  • 2 lemons, cut in half
ingredients, for the sweet potato rosti
  • 480g sweet potato, grated (the Beauregard variety is a good all-rounder for boiling, mashing and baking, as well as being a beautiful colour)
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • pinch of salt



for the pepper chicken

  1. Put all the ingredients for the marinade into a food processor and blitz until near smooth
  2. Place the chicken thighs in tupperware, cover with marinade and place in the fridge overnight
  3. The next day, or after 2-3 hours if cooking on the same day, preheat the oven at 175°C
  4. If you are just going to roast the chicken, and not barbecue it, place it skin-side down in a tray with the lemons on the top shelf (keeping some of the marinade back to brush or spoon on when turned). Roast for 20 minutes
  5. If you are going to barbecue the chicken, follow the instructions on the charcoal packaging, ensuring the coal is white before you place the chicken on the barbecue, skin-side down, for 10 minutes. Then turn and brush with the remaining marinade and barbecue for a further 10 minutes
  6. You can place the lemons near the edges of the barbecue where it is cooler and allow to cook for 5 minutes and then place in a tray
  7. After 20 minutes, if you are roasting the chicken, turn the oven up to 185°C, turn the chicken and brush with the remaining marinade. If you are barbecuing it, after 20 minutes on the barbecue, transfer the chicken to a tray and place in the oven on the top shelf
  8. After a further 20 minutes, remove the chicken from the oven and allow to rest
  9. To check the chicken is cooked, pierce at the meatiest part of the thigh. If the juices run clear the chicken is cooked. If there is any sign of blood, place the the chicken in the oven, turn down the heat the oven and cook a little more
  10. Serve with some fine beans or a green salad

for the rostis

  1. Preheat the oven at 175°C
  2. Add a pinch of salt to the grated sweet potato and leave to sit for 5-10 minutes to draw out any excess water
  3. Then squeeze out any excess water and mix the chopped garlic cloves and plain flour in with the sweet potato
  4. Divide mixture into four and mould into discs to form rostis
  5. Place the sweet potatoes rostis in a tray on the middle shelf in the oven, at the same time you begin cooking the chicken
  6. Roast for 20 minutes
  7. After 20 minutes, turn the oven up to 185°C, and turn the rostis
  8. Give the rostis a further 30 minutes to cook.



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