Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Chloe Likes To Eat

The only thing I really like about Nandos is that some clever cookie has worked out how to make chicken and chips highly covetable and quite profitable. That said, the other week I quite fancied some Piri Piri chicken, and whilst T was suggesting a trip to a particular chicken restaurant, I wanted to take a stab at making my own- naturally.

First attempts were not awful, but getting the flavour balance right proved to be more challenging than expected. I finally triumphed over the weekend though, and look, isn't it good!

More adventures in piri piri chicken- getting there.
Piri Piri Chicken with grilled pineapple and a salsa salad

The following would work with chicken or turkey breast, but I'd suggest grilling or frying rather than roasting. Otherwise, a whole chicken or chicken/turkey on the bone is great because after marinating you can throw it all in a roasting tin and forget about it. So, what's in the all important marinate...

- Generous slosh of cider or white wine vinegar (approx 2 tbsp)
-  1 tspn brown sugar
- 3 finely chopped deseeded chillis
- a generous tbsp of oregano- dried seems to work best
- splash worcester sauce
- juice of 1 lemon or equivalent lemon juice from bottle
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- a pinch of cayenne pepper
- a tiny splash of vegetable oil

Mix the whole lot together in a bowl and either skin your chicken or deeply score it and add to marinate. With a whole chicken, we chose to skin the breast and score the legs. Were we doing this with thighs and legs, we'd probably skin the lot, otherwise the meat won't take on much of the flavour.

Homemade Piri Piri Chicken

I like to leave mine overnight to marinate, and then throw into the oven at approx 150 degrees for 90 mins.

So, serving suggestions since we didn't just eat the whole chicken.... We were craving salad, so a finely chopped green salad had some raddish, cucumber and leftover salsa stirred through and we grilled off some slices of fresh pineapple which are kinda dominating the above plate. Other great ways to serve this might be:

- with sweet potato wedges and a couple of avocados mashed up with lemon juice, finely chopped cucumber, salt and pepper
- dumped on top of a tin of chickpeas mixed with a small tin of sweetcorn, finely shredded spinach or green leaves of choice with honey, lemon and soy sauce dressing
- shredded and used to make up a burger or sandwich with relish, picked cucumber, a crisp lettuce leaf and a scant spread of mayo

PicMonkey Collage
Try not to drool on your keyboard, it's a dead giveaway if you're supposed to be checking your team budget or sending *important* emails.... 

Oh, FYI if there's only 2 of you, then the leftovers can be epic from a whole chicken. This one fed 2 of us for the main meal and then delivered 4 very generous lunches from that. Shredded chicken, diced grilled pineapple, lemon juice, a small spoon of natural yoghurt, shredded leaves of choice and some diced cucumber an amazing lunch did make!

And as per the feedback, some approximate costings are below, based on a whole chicken and serving 6 portions from it:

Chicken- £0.66p (£4 whole Chicken, Sainsbury's)
Brown Sugar - £0.07 (based on 25g at £2.5 per KG)
Chillis - £0.05 (based on half pack of fresh chillis at £0.60 per pack)
Worcester Sauce - £0.03 (based on 290ml bottle at £1)
Cider vingear - £0.08 (based on £2.30 per Litre)
Lemon - £0.05 (based on 1 whole lemon at £0.30)
Garlic - £0.02 (based on a bulb at £0.30 and it having approximately 6 cloves)
Dried oregano - £0.03 (based on a 14g jar at £1)
Cayenne pepper - I added this as a preference for heat in the dish, it's £1 per jar at Sainsbury's but I used so little, it'd be very difficult to cost it for this recipe, let alone per portion! 
Vegetable oil - Again, very difficult to cost exactly, I used 10ml or less fr the whole dish, and it's available at £1.50 for 1L at Sainsbury's
Total approximate cost: £0.99 per portion of Piri Piri chicken

All costings are approximate and whilst I aim for many of my dishes to be low in cost, you may be able to find cheaper alternatives or smaller portion sizes.

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