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Peri Peri Chicken

Anyone that's from England will know how big a part of our lives Nandos is. It's a restaurant that was born in Portugal and centers itself around chicken. What better way is there to start a restaurant than to put your main focus on chicken? In my personal opinion, there is no better way. Especially when you combine it with their special peri peri sauces, every spicy food lovers heaven.

Considering there is not a Nandos to be found in New York, I decided it was about time I decided to dab my hand in making my own, with the help of Jamie Oliver and his magical recipes, of course.

For those US readers that live in Washington DC, Virginia, Illinois, or Maryland, you are in luck as there are a number of Nandos restaurants within travelling distance. Check out the link here to see where in the world you can find a Nandos restaurant near you. However, for the rest of you, you are just going to have to take a stab at this incredible homemade Nandos I am about to blow your minds with.

The ingredients you are going to need are as follows:
1.3 kg free-range chicken
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
4 cloves of garlic
smoked paprika
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil
red onion
4 ripe tomatoes
3 jalapeño peppers or 6 fresh chillies, multiple colours if possible
red wine vinegar
extra virgin olive oil

Sweet Potato Wedges:
2 sweet potatoes 
Smoked Paprika

Jalapeño Salsa:
3 large jalapeños
bunch of fresh coriander/cilantro

Once you have all of your ingredients, then you are ready to get started. 

You are going to get your chicken and cut it directly down the middle, creating two halves. 

Put your thyme leaves into a pestle and mortar (if you don't have one then just put them in a ziplock bag and roll on it with a heavy kitchen object; wine bottle, a meat pounder, rolling pin etc), peel and add 1 of your garlic cloves, followed by the paprika and a pinch of salt. With all of these ingredients together, you then have to bash them to a paste. Once this is done, add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and rub the marinade all over the chicken. Make sure you get the marinade everywhere, all the little secret hiding spaces the chicken has to offer, just shove the marinade in there. Trust me, the worse it feels now, the better it will taste in the long run. 

Cover your chicken and place it in the fridge for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight if possible. 

When the time comes to cook your beautiful meal, preheat your oven to 180 (celsius), 350 (Fahrenheit), or gas mark 4. Put a pan on the stove at high heat, making sure to cut the unpeeled onions into quarters and if the tomatoes are on the larger side, chop them in half. Alongside the remaining unpeeled garlic cloves and the jalapeños or chillies (depending on which way you decide to venture), place them into the pan and grill for around 5 to 10 minutes, or when they are evenly charred - make sure you turn them regularly so they don't burn on one side.

Peel the garlic cloves and the onions and place all of the charred ingredients into a food processor, blending thoroughly. Add a splash of red wine vinegar and olive oil and blend until smooth. The add a handful of coriander/cilantro and a pinch of salt to season. Blend it all together and put your first salsa into a bowl. 

After you have made this wonderfully spicy salsa, return your pan to high heat and chuck your marinated chicken on (not literally, but you know where I'm going with this) for around 8-10 minutes and remember to turn it regularly. Then move the chicken to a roasting tray and place it in the oven for around 45 minutes, or until it is thoroughly cooked. 

After this, cut up your sweet potatoes and place them on a tray. Cover them in olive oil, paprika, salt and pepper. Don't forget to get your hands dirty and make sure all of those ingredients are over every part of each potato, this will make them taste especially great once they are cooked and you don't want one potato tasting better than the next!

After about 25 to 30 minutes, take out the sweet potatoes and they should be nice and crispy. If they aren't, then leave them in for a little while longer to get the full potential of these sweet beauties.

Whilst you are waiting for the chicken finish cooking, you can start on your jalapeño salsa. It's probably one of the most simple salsas you will ever make. In your life. It goes like this.. add your jalapeños, add your cilantro, chuck in some olive oil and red wine vinegar and blend away. That's it. I know, mind blown. 

By the time you faffed around doing all of these extracurricular activities, your chicken should be ready to be taken out of the oven. Allow the chicken to cool for about 10 minutes before you cut it. Then cut the chicken in all its glory. You'll get drumsticks, thighs and succulent pieces of chicken. What sounds better than that? Nothing. 

Put a dollop of your peri peri salsa on the plate, followed by your jalapeño salsa, then place a drumstick and another piece of chicken on top of the salsa. Put a few potato fries on this side of the plate and you've created a masterpiece.

1 comment :

  1. The cooking Queen of New York has struck gold again!