Full of fiery Portuguese flavour, this is the recipe for my ultimade Peri Peri chicken from my cookbook – West Coast Wander. Don’t have a copy of your own yet? Shop it here.
Influences from the Portuguese explorers of old can still be found on the West Coast. St Helena Bay was the spot where Vasco da Gama first set foot and his nation’s culinary legacy has remained. From grilled sardines, calamari and crispy milho frito, addictively spicy Portuguese food remains a firm favourite in restaurants and home kitchens along the coast. Here, classic Peri Peri chicken is done to perfection over the coals – the perfect addition to a lazy braai, no matter the season.
A dish of potato wedges cook beneath the chicken, absorbing those lovely flavours from the bird as it roasts.
Peri Peri Chicken
Prep time: 20 mins plus marinating /Cook time: 1 hour /Serves: 4
You will need:
- 1 whole chicken (1kg)
- 2 lemons
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 2 sprigs of rosemary, leaves finely chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 small chillies, finely chopped
- 5ml smoked paprika
- 20ml white wine vinegar
- 125ml olive oil
- 10ml sticky brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon of my smoked chilli sauce (optional)
- Coarse ground sea salt
For the rosemary potatoes:
- 4-6 large Sifra potatoes, cut into wedges and parboiled
- 2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- Olive oil
- Coarse ground sea salt and black pepper
Using kitchen scissors, cut down the backbone of the chicken and flatten it out. Slice incisions into the thighs of the bird and fit it into a large roasting dish.
Zest and juice the lemons and combine with the rest of the ingredients. Season the marinade with salt and pour over the flattened chicken. Brush the marinade all over the chicken and cover the dish with foil. Leave for a minimum of 8 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
Once marinated, remove the chicken from the refrigerator at least one hour before cooking. Put the sliced potatoes into a foil or enamel roasting dish and tuck the rosemary sprigs between them. Drizzle over the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
If grilling the chicken over the coals, a kettle braai works best to achieve a smoky flavour. Using indirect heat, place the potatoes between the coals, with the chicken in the middle of the grid above them. Close the lid of the kettle braai and cook for 40 minutes to an hour, basting often with the remaining marinade.
When cooked through, carve the chicken and serve with the potato wedges, floury Portuguese rolls and some of my smoked chilli sauce on the side.