Piri Piri Chicken with Cucumber, Tomato and Red Onion Salad
This fantastic dish is full of flavour and very easy to prepare. Piri Piri is a spicy pepper sauce that can be used as a marinade or for adding flavour when baking. It is a commonly used sauce in Portugal and ready-prepared bottles are widely available in shops and supermarkets. They are often available in differing heat/spice levels. I’d recommend a medium heat for this dish. Any leftover sauce can be brushed over fish or meat when barbecuing.
For the chicken:
4 large chicken thighs, skin on and bone in (use 8 if they are small)
4 tablespoons Piri Piri sauce
4 bay leaves (fresh or dried)
2 peppers, red and/or yellow
Salt and pepper
For the salad:
½ large cucumber
4 ripe tomatoes
1 small red onion, peeled
Handful pitted green olives
1 tablespoon red or white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
Small handful chopped flat-leaf parsley
You will also need kitchen foil
– Using a sharp knife, slash the chicken thighs 3 times into the flesh so the sauce can flavour the meat. Put into a bowl and mix with the sauce.
– Ideally leave to marinade in the fridge for 30 minutes – 1 hour, but cooking the chicken straight away will still give you a good flavour.
– Heat the oven to 200C/Fan 180C/gas 6.
– Put a piece of foil in the oven/grill tray and place the chicken skin-side-up, each one sitting on top of a bay leaf. Spoon over any sauce from the bowl.
– Cut the peppers into large wedges and remove the seeds. Place on the foil with the chicken, then drizzle over a glug of olive oil.
– Season with salt and pepper and put into the oven for 30 minutes, then turn the peppers.
– Cook for a further 15 minutes until the chicken skin is golden and crispy.
– While the chicken is cooking, cut the cucumber, tomatoes and red onion into small bite-size pieces and toss together with the olives, vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
– Once the chicken is cooked, serve with the salad and bread, rice or potatoes.
The refreshing salad complements the spicy chicken perfectly and I suggest you serve with some crusty bread, cooked rice or crunchy sauté potatoes to create a delicious holiday feast.