Sunday, 9 November 2014

Homemade Peri Peri Spatchcock Chicken

Why go out when you can make it better yourself at home?

Peri peri or piri piri sauce is not hard to make, you don't quite get the same flavour from a bottle as what you do making it from scratch. It's not too hard to make either.

I made this for Friday night tea with wine in hand, ingredients were slap dashed measured and it still came out pretty darn delicious so I dare you to go wrong with this recipe.

This recipe is for one small chicken, feel free to boost the ingredients should you wish to feed more.

Feeds 2 ravenous Friday night 9-5ers 

Prep - 20 mins 

Cook 1 hour (depending on the size of your chicken)


1 chicken (Mine was 1.3 Kg)

Olive Oil 

2 chillies (Birdseye or red chillies if you can't get your hands on them) 

1 red onion 

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

juice of 1 lemon

1.5 tsps of smoked paprika 

salt and pepper

1 tbsp garlic (crushed or finely chopped) 

1 tbsp oregano 

1-2 tbsp honey 

How to cook:

1. Line a tray with tin foil and dribble in some olive oil, place in the oven (180 degrees/gas mark 4) and let it warm up. Meanwhile it's time to spatchcock your chicken. 

Now I've heard that butchers will do this for you but it's not that hard to do at home. 

Place your chicken breast-side up and gently, but firmly, press down on it's ribcage, you should hear a crack as it breaks. Then flip over the chicken so the breast-side is facing down on the counter. Chop off the flappy neck bits (optional waving of this in housemate's face to gross them out) and using a sharp knife cut down either side of the spine, or if your chicken is tiny like mine was, you can just cut straight down the spine. 

Flip your chicken again flatten, again gently, but firmly. 

I once read somewhere that placing skewers through the thigh and up in to the breast helps make the chicken taste nicer, moister, keeps it up right now it's depressed, etc, whatever it was it looks good and the chicken comes out well so I've kept it up. 

Nip the chicken skin all over with scissors so the sauce can run in. 

Place chicken to the side. 

NB: feel free to youtube 'How to spatchcock a chicken' if my instructions aren't clear for you. 

2. Blitz together the onion and chillies in a food processor (or meticulously chop in to tiny pieces if you don't have one). 

3. Pour blitzed food in to a pan and add the vinegar, lemon juice, Harissa paste, paprika, salt, pepper, garlic and oregano. Mix together. 

4. On a medium to high heat slowly start to cook your ingredients stirring and pressing the juices out. 

5. After about 5 minutes sieve through the juices in to another (smaller) pan. Don't through away the parts that don't go through the sieve you need this too. 

6. On a low heat stir your spicy juices, slowly add your honey combining it together. If it's not thickening add a bit more. 

7. Take your tray out of the oven and place your spatchcocked chicken inside. Slowly brush your sauce over the chicken. 

8. Take the non-sievable ingredients and push these in to all the little nooks and crannies of the chicken. sprinkle some over the breasts too. You could even make it some little crusty booties if you fancied by cupping some around its feet. 

9. Dribble some more olive oil on top of the chicken. (Don't wash it down with oil otherwise you'll lose all your sauce). 

10. Place chicken in oven, a spatchcock chicken takes less time than a normal whole roast chicken. My small little poulet took just over an hour to roast. Make sure you baste the chicken regularly throughout the cooking time to make the most of the sauce. Juices that run clear indicate a cooked chicken, if you're still unsure cut in to the breast a little to make sure it isn't pink.

11. Let it rest for 5 minutes before serving with salad and rice, or chips if you're feeling naughty. 

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