In the 15th century, the Portuguese left for India to look for perfumes. But before arriving there they ran out of food so they docked at Mozambique for supplies…
And this is how these lucky Portuguese found the Bird’s Eye Chillies. (Peri-peri in local language).
In the 19th century, Gold rush has brought unlimited business opportunities. People started to sell chicken with peri-peri sauce and that how this dish become world-famous.
- To spatchcock the chicken, flip it over so the backbone is facing you. Using a sturdy pair of kitchen scissors or poultry scissors, cut down either side of the backbone, then discard. Turn the chicken over and push down firmly on the breastbone to flatten out the bird. Make a few slashes in each leg joint. You can watch a video showing how to spatchcock a chicken in the How To Cook section of the website).
- Put the chillies and garlic in a food processor with a good pinch of salt, or use a pestle and mortar. Blend to a paste, then add the paprika, vinegar, parsley and olive oil. Mix well, then smear over the chicken. Leave to marinate for at least 1 hr or overnight if possible. Can be frozen at this stage.
- Fire up the barbecue. When the flames have died down, place the chicken on the centre of the barbecue, skin-side down, and cook for 15-20 mins until nicely charred. Flip the chicken over and continue cooking for another 5-15 mins until cooked through. Check that the juices run clear, as the heat of every barbecue will vary. To cook in the oven, heat to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and cook for 35-40 mins on a baking tray. To char the skin, grill for a further 5-10 mins. Serve with lemon wedges, and Tabasco if you like it hot.