Jun 13 2009
This chicken dish is very popular in South Africa. There are many fast food restaurants that specialize in peri peri (piri-piri) chicken. If you’ve never tried this famous marinated chicken, get ready for a flavor sensation.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes, cooking time: 24 minutes
- 3 lb. whole chicken
- Olive oil, to grease
- 1 T olive oil, extra virgin
- Lemon wedges, to serve
- Peri peri marinade (bottled or made at home)
- There is an excellent bottled South African peri-peri sauce available at many American supermarkets, brand name Nando’s. It is available in mild, spicy and extra spicy. Alternatively, you make your own marinade. I recommend you use peri peri seasoning rather than hot chili flakes as peri peri is a very flavorful chilli.
- 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 inch piece ginger, peeled, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 T dried hot chili flakes or peri peri powder (available from South African importers)
½ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
To make the peri-peri marinade, place the garlic, ginger, oil and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely crushed. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add the chili flakes and parsley and stir until combined.
Place the chicken, breast-side down, on a clean work surface. Use kitchen scissors to cut along either side of the backbone. Discard backbone. Turn over the chicken and open to lie flat. Use your hands to press the chicken to flatten.
Wash the chicken well and pat dry. Place in a large sealable plastic bag. Add the peri-peri marinade to the bag and seal. Rub the bag to coat the chicken in the marinade. Place in the refrigerator overnight to develop the flavors.
- Place a large non-stick skillet on the stove top on high heat. Lightly oil the pan.
Preheat oven to 450°F. Brush a baking tray with olive oil.
Remove the chicken from the bag. Discard the bag and excess marinade.
Place the chicken, skin-side down, on the skillet. Season with salt and pepper.
Place two very clean, or foil covered bricks on the chicken to flatten it.
The chicken should begin to sizzle immediately. Cook for 12 minutes.
Drizzle over the extra olive oil and season again with salt and pepper.
Transfer the chicken to the baking tray, skin-side up.
Roast in the oven for 12 minutes or longer if necessary.
Set aside for 10 minutes to rest before cutting into 8 pieces.
Serve immediately with lemon wedges.