A little after we moved up here six years ago we discovered Peri-Peri chicken. We’re in a smaller town, but there’s a big Portuguese population, and they know how to cook (especially chicken!). One neighbour down the street opened up a Portuguese chicken joint (which has since grown to include a lot more than just chicken), and after seeing our small town explode online about how great it was, we had to try.
It is INCREDIBLE. Peri-Peri chicken is coated in this indescribably delicious and complex tasting marinade that has a bit of heat layered within some incredible smoky and garlicky flavour. They rotisserie it at Poleiro’s, then quickly cut it up into portions before sending it home with us in a big tray. It is just so much better than the other chain chicken restaurant found around Canada.
But, all that gushing aside, we can’t always order in when we feel like it, because we live on a pretty tight budget. I had to figure out how to make it at home *almost* as good as they do down at Poleiro’s. It had to be quick too, because this is a meal I’m used to being treated to on a night where life gets away from us, so outside of the cooking time, I wanted ten minutes or less of prep. I’ve got it figured out, and you’re going to love it!
You make a quick little marinade in the blender or food processor, rub some of it on a spatchcocked chicken, and toss it in the oven for an hour. Outside of a few brushes of marinade during cooking you’re done, and your house is smelling absolutely amazing. You’re welcome. If you want it really spicy, just increase the pepper flakes and add a bit of cayenne. If you want it traditional and incredible, toss in some birds-eye chili’s (but for this you’ll probably need to plan ahead, I don’t keep them stocked in the fridge). I’ve got to wait until the kids are a bit older to have that kind of fun.
One thing I forgot – Do NOT be afraid to spachcock a chicken. I didn’t try this for so long because I thought it was going to be hard and gross. It’s not. It’s the easiest thing to do (just cutting out one bone with a pair of scissors. It dramatically cuts down roasting time (we’re talking 25%), and it makes all of the skin on the chicken stay crisp. I do this ALL THE TIME now when I’m roasting chicken for dinner (ok, almost all the time). If you haven’t done this before, here’s a great tutorial via Martha.