RECIPE: Mpho Nogueira’s hard body chicken

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Home cook Mpho Zitha Nogueira is making massive waves on social media with a staggering following of more than 200 000 through her business, Nogueira’s Home Cooking. Her hearty dishes first made appearances on social feeds in 2016 and have since grabbed the attention of chicken brand, Grain Fields Chicken.

Nogueira’s zany cooking instructions and colourful meal descriptions are refreshing. This foodie is known for preparing meals she holds dear to her heart, like her scrumptious hard-body (hand-raised) chicken, or “Petronella” as she so fondly calls it. Her recipe is a modern rendition of the chicken her grandmother would prepare for her in Soweto.

Umleqwa or hard-body chicken is a staple in the homes of many South Africans, and Nogueira adds a simple yet spicy element to her grandmother’s “Petronella”.


  • 1 whole hand-raised chicken
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 tsp paprika


  • Boil the whole chicken for about an hour with salt only, then set aside in a different bowl.
  • In the same pot, use the fat from the chicken to braise the meat adding the paprika, cayenne and black pepper and frying till your chicken is golden brown.
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