Friday, 1 July 2011

Piri Piri in Portugal

Apologies for lack of posts recently, have had a new kitchen put in which rendered the area useless and I don't think blogging about takeaways is really what you're after here.

Wild thyme
Also had a glorious week in Portugal, which meant BBQs everyday, and a quest to see how many marinades we could fit into a week of food. I love holiday food, always simple, generally meaty and sea-foody, and most days revolve around meal times. Just the way it should be. In the village that our villa was in, we were blessed with two bulging lemon trees, wild thyme on the roadsides and massive rosemary bushes, a great start. Annoyingly I discovered it was thyme after I made this (shut up, it looked quite different), but I knew for next time, and it was great with the pork the following evening!

Don't rub your eyes after touching this...
As an English person, lacking proper knowledge of Portuguese food, I presume that piri-piri relates to any sauce that is nice and hot, usually doused liberally over chicken, either before, during, or after grilling. They seem to have hundreds of version, some saucey, some just oil. You must not ever go to Portugal without dining on this delicacy, in the little restaurant we eat it at, they chop the chicken up into big chunks, a bit like with jerk chicken, no faffing about with bite size portions here. We used spatch-cocked chickens (backbone removed, then flattened out), by far the best way on a barbie I reckon.

For a rather finger-licking marinade for chicken on the bbq follow these instructions (measurements are not necessary, use lots of everything!): mince at least one head of garlic, mix with lemon juice, chopped rosemary or thyme, chili flakes/chopped fresh chili, salt, tomato ketchup, a splash of vinegar and a glug of olive oil. Mix well and smother as many chickens as you like with it, leave as long as possible in the fridge, turning once, and leave out of the fridge for an hour before cooking (to bring to room temperature). Double wrap in foil, bbq for approx 20 minutes, then remove the foil and keep cooking until the skin is crisp and juices run clear. Serve with a decent salad and plenty of cervezas...

...then be amazed at how much chicken everyone consumes.

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