Margarita's International Recipes

Guinea Bissau

Cafriela de Frango

Chicken Cafriela

Cafriela de Frango

Cafriela de Frango, also known as Frango á Cafriela, is one of Guinea Bissau's most traditional dishes. It resembles Senegalese Yassa, but it adds peppers and omits vinegar. It also calls for the chicken to be finished on the grill or the oven after being stewed in the sauce.

In Guinea Bissau, this chicken is often made with hen, thus making it Galinha á Cafriela, and it uses Malagueta peppers, which I encountered earlier when I made Bahian food. This time I didn't go hunting for them and I substituted with serranos, which are much less spicy (but I'm not big on spicy food). You can also substitute 1-to-1 with Thai chilis or halfven the number and use habaneros.

That said, I didn't really enjoy this dish. Though I marinated the chicken for six hours, the chicken itself was bland. The sauce itself tasted too much of chilis for my taste. All in all, I wouldn't make it again.

Cafriela de Frango


  • 3 lb chicken parts
  • salt to taste
  • 10 Malagueta peppers, sliced and seeded
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice 1 Tbsp vegetable oil


Season chicken pieces with salt and place in a large bowl. Add the chilis, half the sliced onion, garlic and lemon juice. Coast chicken well and let marinade in the fridge for at least 3 hours. Mix in the oil.

Transfer chicken and marinade to a cooking pot. Add 1/2 cup of water and cook covered over medium-low heat for 30 minutes. Transfer chicken pieces to a roasting pan and roast in the oven for 15 to 20 additional minutes. Alternatively, grill. Meanwhile, add remaining onions to the marinade and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes. Add more lemon juice if desired.

Serve chicken with the sauce over rice.

Adapted from a recipe at the BBC.

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