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Piri Piri Chicken Thighs

Piri Piri Chicken

 

Before I met my husband and before I moved to Malaysia, I was completely unaware of what “Nando’s” chicken was.  He explained to me that it was a spicy Portugese chicken joint popular in the UK. Chicken? Spicy? YES, PLEASE!

 

As much as I like Nando’s and their spicy chicken, I have to say that I was a little disappointed when I found out that nothing was fried but instead grilled.  It’s not that I don’t like grilled, roasted or rotisserie chicken, it’s just that I never had any great experiences with that method of cooking chicken in the past.  In my experience, many people often overcook poultry to the point where it is dry, chewy and stringy (aka ‘squeaky’). It was only after I started brining all things poultry and cooking with darker pieces of meat, such as thighs  and legs, when I really started to appreciate the succulent art form that is non fried chicken.

 

Much like a marriage, the art of keeping it juicy relies on treating it well.  Take it from someone who has learned their lesson, pamper your chicken like you would your own child or loved one.  Cure darker pieces with salt and sugar and brine everything else.  Speaking of which, I can not truly express my gratitude for the cooking hack that is brining.  Not only does it keep everything juicy and tender but it also adds SO MUCH flavor to the meat, especially when it’s as spicy as this one.  As for the coating, you can drench the outer layers in a mild hot sauce or you can do what I do and go extra hot.  For those that like a drier and crispy chicken skin, just roast it naked with a little bit of smoked paprika dusted on top.  The choice is yours but for the love of all that is spicy chicken, DON’T FORGET TO BRINE!

 

 



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Piri Piri Chicken Thighs


Description

If you like juicy and spicy roasted chicken, then you’ll love this recipe. Thighs are soaked overnight in a special chili brine then roasted in hot sauce. #chicken #poultry #spicy  #recipes


Scale

Ingredients

For Roasting
  • 68 chicken thighs
  • a bottle of your favorite piri piri sauce or similar hot sauce
For brining
    • 100g (about 1/2 cup) salt
    • 100g (about 1/2 cup) sugar
    • 1 tbsp peppercorn
    • 1 lemon (zest grated and juiced)
    • 1 head of garlic (garlic cloves crushed)
    • 34 bay leaves
    • 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
    • 1 tsp thyme
    • 2.5 L (8 1/2 cups) water

Instructions

Roasting
  1. Brine the chicken overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 220C/425F.
  3. Take chicken out of brine and pat dry, removing any brine debris that still may be sticking to the chicken.
  4. Place on an oven tray and coat in your favorite piri piri sauce or whichever hot sauce you prefer.
  5. Bake in the oven at 220C/45F uncovered for 45 min-60 min or until thoroughly cooked, making sure to baste with fresh hot sauce as you go.
Brine
  1. Grate the zest of one lemon and add it to a large pot along with the juice.
  2. Add salt, sugar, crushed garlic cloves, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, thyme and 1 L of water and bring to a boil over high heat.
  3. Boil for 10 minutes, making sure sure the brine mixture does not boil over onto the stovetop.
  4. After 10 min, remove from heat and let cool.
  5. Once room temperature, add the remaining 1.5 liters of water.  The mixture should taste like a salty soup.  If you find it to be too salty, add a mug or two of water but not much more as you don’t want to dilute the brine too much.
  6. Add poultry to room temperature brine and let soak overnight or up to 2 days in the refrigerator.
  7. When ready to cook, remove poultry from brine, pat dry and remove any herbs that might remain on the meat.
  8. Discard brine once poultry has touched it and do not reuse.

Notes

For those that like a drier and crispy chicken skin, just roast it naked with a little bit of smoked paprika dusted on top.

Grill for an added smokiness

  • Category: Chicken
  • Cuisine: Western

Keywords: Chicken thighs, spicy, poultry, peri peri, piri piri



Piri Piri Chicken

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