I discovered Piri piri chicken when watching a Lorraine Pascale programme a few years ago, and have found it a great way of making a humble roast chicken even tastier. This method is slightly different to hers in a couple of ways, the first being that the paste is different and the second being that I spatchcocked the chicken first. This is quite a satisfying job which involves firstly removing the backbone from the chicken (lots of videos on the internet will show you how to do this) and then flattening the chicken.
I don’t know if it’s purely psychological but I think it tastes better this way rather than leaving the chicken whole. Probably something very scientific to do with the way it cooks in the oven – it certainly cooks faster this way. The other benefit I have found is that the piri piri sauce stays on the chicken whereas it tends to fall off if the bird is left whole.
I made the paste above by combining the following and then smearing it all over the chicken:
• 2 tsp garlic powder
• 2 tsp smoked paprika
• 2 red chillis (de-seeded)
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 1 tbsp cider vinegar
• 1 tbsp chopped parsley
• 1 tsp white sugar
I then cooked it for 1 hour (it might have been done before then, but at that time the juices were running clear) in an oven at 200oC fan.
After this time it might look a bit burnt – don’t worry it will still taste great, and it’s the sugar that has caramelised that gives it that look. We had this with some sweet potato wedges (I just cut the sweet potato into wedges shapes and roasted them in the oven for 40 mins with some olive oil) and a few salad leaves that Mrs B grows in the garden. A yummy dinner perfect for summertime!