Hope you had a lovely weekend?
Yet again, I’m not sure how Sunday evening has already rolled around. The weeks are flying by lately, and I’m here trying to cling on and enjoy every single passing day, because I know I’ll wake up in four weeks time and be old and grey at the current rate of the clock ticking.
Seriously, scary stuff.
Is anyone else afraid of life passing by and not getting to see, do and omg, eat everything that you want in time?! And I really don’t help myself by usually ordering the same damn item on the menu every time I go somewhere. Like Nando’s, you don’t really need to look at the menu, but you skim through it anyway. It’s usually pretty underwhelming but ultimately, you know exactly what you can expect.
A few weeks ago, I made my own version.
Roasted spicy, garlicky, herby chicken, with a crispy, slightly charred skin, bathing in a pool of homemade peri-peri sauce.
Seriously, just look at this.
I shredded the chicken up, tossed it in some more peri-peri sauce and stuffed it into a pitta pocket with some garlic mayo, caramelised red onion chutney and salad before serving it with chips:
Inspired by Nando’s, only, made with more love, and, uh, better?
- 1.85kg whole chicken
- 2 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 125 ml white vinegar
- Juice of 1 x lemon
- 1 x whole garlic, separated into cloves and peeled
- Cold water
- Fresh thyme x 3 sprigs
- 1 x red pepper
- 1 packet birds eye chillies (20g)
- 8 x cloves garlic
- 1 x lemon
- 1 x white onion
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 125ml white vinegar
- 1.5 tbsp paprika
- 125ml vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- Fresh thyme x 3 sprigs
- Packet of pitta bread
- Garlic mayo
- Sliced cheddar
- Red onion chutney
- Mixed salad leaves
- Place everything in the brine list minus the cold water in a small pan, and heat until it reaches a boil. Take off the heat, set aside and let it cool to room temperature.
- Place the whole chicken, in a large pot, pour over the cooled brine mixture and top with as much cold water that’s required to fully submerge it. Cover with clingfilm, and pop it in the fridge overnight.
- Drain the chicken before spatchcocking. To do this, turn it over, and use a pair of scissors to remove the backbone, cutting up either side of the bone, from the tail to the neck. Next, use a knife to cut about a centimeter or so into the breast bone, and press down to flatten the chicken. If you need a hand, you can refer to this vid.
- Place into a glass baking tray while you prepare the marinade / peri-peri sauce.
- For the peri-peri sauce, pop all the ingredients into a blender and blitz until smooth. Pour about half of the mixture over the spatchcocked chicken and rub it into every nook and cranny. Cover, and place back in the fridge for 4-6 hours, or ideally, overnight.
- Place the other half of the peri-peri mixture into a small pan, and simmer for about 1hr, covering with a lid about 15-20mins through, swirling the mixture every 5mins or so. This allows the flavours to mingle, intensify and mature. Once done, allow to cool to room temperature before popping it into some Tupperware and placing in the fridge.
- When you’re ready to cook your chicken, take it out of the fridge, and preheat the oven to gas mark 6. Roast for about 40-45mins, or until properly cooked through. Baste chicken about midway through this time.
- Serve the chicken as you like with the reserved sauce.
- If you want to create pitta pockets:
- Toast the pitta, snap in half to reveal the hollow centre.
- Add a spoonful of garlic mayo to the bottom half, and a spoonful of peri-peri sauce to the top half.
- Place a slice of cheddar cheese inside, followed by a generous spoonful of red onion chutney.
- Shred the meat from the chicken carcass. Place into a frying pan, drizzle over reserved peri-peri sauce and heat through before stuffing into the prepared pitta pockets.
- Add some fresh salad leaves and serve with some chips.