“The shared meal elevates eating from a mechanical process of fuelling the body to a ritual of family and community, from the mere animal biology to an act of culture” (Micheal Pollan) and so let me share a family favourite from my dinner table to yours.
This dish is my take on the famous Nandos Peri Peri. Living in the UK, I can’t find a Halal Nandos anywhere and where I do find it, it takes 50 minutes of my time to just travel to that location, half way through to which, my kids start nagging in the car with the most annoying question repeatedly, “are we there yet?”. So, by the time I am at Nandos and ready to eat, I have exhausted myself with car games to keep the kids occupy enough that they won’t ask that particular question hitting me like a hammer everytime. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids and kids will ofcourse always be kids, but, when I want to eat Nandos, I want to enjoy it with a fresh, calm and serene attitude, instead, either I am trying to break up an argument between my two older ones, who are in a phase of ripping each other’s heads off, or I am taking them to the restrooms, or trying to stop them from turning over the salt shaker, trying to stop them from taking each other’s crayons or asking them again and again not to play with their food and the worst one, you just can’t have Nandos without a fizzy drink and you can’t stop your kids from sipping it down like water when it’s on the table or just don’t order it at all, which ofcourse makes me feel like something is missing from the Nandos meal, so I have to make sure my kids have just enough. Now imagine, all this while we are eating. To be honest, as a mother, having toddlers and enjoying a meal out, just don’t go together peacefully.
My point to the whole rant is that, I decided, to recreate the dish as similar as possible to that of Nandos to rescue myself from a havoc of nags and complaints and tantrums of a family dinner outing, for now atleast, until my kids are a little more mature to have a descent quiet dinner when we dine out. So, after a few tries, I nailed my perfect recipe. It isn’t exactly like that of Nandos, truth be told, I can’t compete with Nandos anyway, but it’s extremely delightful. I literally devoured it, with lady-like manners ofcourse.
Just look at all that scrumptious sauce. The BBQ Grill effect is due the braising of the chicken on the fry-pan prior to baking it. One word, Divine!
The recipe can be baked or grilled or BBQ’d perfect for summers. I chose to Pan-fry the meat first to sear the skin and give it a BBQ grilled texture and then baked it in the oven without covering it. The skin was really nice and crisp with an extremely moist inside. The flavours in the sauce were absolute delectable and I rubbed it on the corn I baked alongside the chicken. One thing that I did differently from any of my grilled, baked or BBQ’d recipes is that rather than adding onion powder to the marinade, I pulsed one medium onion and added to the marinade, it made a huge impact. The best part is, its healthy, light on the stomach and on the weight-issues.
The secret to getting a lusciously flavoursome baked chicken is to give it a spa treatment. Brush the sapid juices released from the chicken onto the chicken while it’s baking after every 10-12 minutes. Okay, don’t roll your eyes; if you simply can’t go through that hassle, just brush it when it comes out of the oven at the end.
I served this with similar Nandos rice. For me personally, this rice recipe will probably be one of the nicest rice recipes you will ever try. Don’t be scared of using the green chillies in the rice though, because the end result won’t be spicy at all. Having said that, if you still want to, then you can ofcourse.
Just look at those gorgeous autumn colours.
I’ll tell you what, rather me telling you how good this is, I will tell you to give this a go because I have no words to describe it. It’s absolutely outstanding as Ruth Reichl says, “Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious”.
Ready to be devoured.
4 – Chicken Leg pieces with skin or skin off if preferred
4 – Corn on the Cobs
BBQ Peri-Peri Marinade ~
2 tbsp – Oil
1 tbsp – Butter
2 – Medium size Onions
4 tbsp – BBQ Sauce
2 tbsp – Worcestershire Sauce
2 tbsp – Sriracha Hot Sauce (or any)
4 – Garlic Cloves crushed
4 tbsp – Nandos Hot Peri-Peri Sauce
2 tsp – Apple Cider Vinegar/White Vinegar
1 tsp – Mustard Paste
1/2 tsp – Salt
1/4 tsp – Black Pepper
Peri-Peri Rice ~
3 tbsp – Oil
2 – Onion chopped
2 – Green Chillies chopped
1 – Red Bell Pepper
2 tbsp – Nandos Peri-Peri Sauce
2 tbsp – Ketchup
4 – Cloves
1-1/2 tsp – Salt
1-1/2 cups – Rice
1. Prepare the Chicken ~
a. Wash and pat dry the chicken pieces and make slits on the skin for the marinade to coat well.
b. In a blender, blitz together the onion with a little water and add it to the chicken.
c. Mix all the ingredients of the BBQ Peri-Peri Marinade into the chicken. Coat the chicken well and leave it for at least 1 hour or overnight to marinate.
d. Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
e. Heat a little oil in a fry pan and fry the marinated chicken skin side down for 4-5 minutes on medium high heat. This will make the skin crispy.
f. Now place the chicken pieces on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 50 minutes uncovered.
g. Half-way through baking, wrap the corns in kitchen foil and place them in the try along with the baking chicken. Place the tray back in the oven.
h. When the chicken is done, brush the chicken with the juices in the tray.
i. Brush the corn with the juices as well to give them a nice flavour.
2. Prepare the rice ~
a. Wash the rice.
b. In a cooking pot, add a little oil and add the chopped onions to it.
c. Add the chopped green chilli and cloves. Sauté until the onion becomes soft. Do not brown the onions.
d. Add the chopped red bell pepper and fry for a minute.
e. Add 2 cups of water.
f. Add salt, Nandos Peri Peri Sauce and Ketchup.
g. Add the rice when the water comes to a boil.
h. Cook on high heat until all the water evaporates. Turn the flame to low and steam the rice for another 8-10 minutes.
i. Serve with the baked chicken and any leafy Side salad (pairs well with arugula)
Happy Foodieating ~
☆ Try out My Mandi Recipe — it’s just as scrumptious ☆