Piri - Piri Chicken & Crispy Potato Chips

One of the most classic Portuguese dishes is Frango Assado [Roasted Chicken].

Served with a side of rice, or crispy potato chips, this signature meal is found on every menu in Portugal. What makes it so famous is the way it is prepared, with lemon, olive oil, garlic, and the secret ingredient, Piri-Piri.

Piri-Piri peppers made their way to Portugal by ships from Mozambique and Angola, former colonies of Portugal. These hot peppers soon become a staple in many Portuguese dishes such as this one.

The peppers add a fiery note to this chicken that you’ll be wondering why you haven’t tried them out before.

They are also known as birds eye chili and are easily found in Portuguese specialty stores, but if you can't find them, substitute them for regular chilies, or cayenne pepper.

My Portuguese Mother // Piri - Piri Chicken
My Portuguese Mother // Piri - Piri Chicken
My Portuguese Mother // Piri - Piri Chicken
My Portuguese Mother // Potato Chips
 

Ingredients 

  • 1 whole chicken, spatchocked

Piri- Piri Sauce

  • 10 Piri-Piri Peppers (red eye or any other red chili peppers)

  • 100 ml olive oil

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 tsp. paprika

  • Salt & Pepper

  • Large bunch of parsley, plus more for serving

Crispy Potato Chips

  • 1½ pounds russet

  • Ice water

  • Vegetable oil, for frying

  • Salt and pepper

Recipe

Piri- Piri Sauce & Chicken

  1. Mix the chilies, olive oil, garlic, paprika, parsley, and salt and pepper, until it is all combined. Using a blender, blend half the mixture for the marinade, and preserve the half unblended mixture for basting.

  2. Place the chicken breast side down. Using kitchen scissors, cut the right side of the backbone, and repeat along the left side. ( you may save the backbone for future chicken stock or discard). Open the chicken, and turn over. Flatten the breastbone with the heel of your hand so that the meat is all one thickness.

  3. Place the chicken in a plastic bag or in a  large tray, pour half of the sauce over the chicken and allow it to marinade for an hour.

  4. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

  5. Place the chicken on a baking tray. Tuck the wings under the body of the chicken.

  6. Roast the chicken for a 1-1 ½ hour. For the last few minutes, turn on the broiler to crisp the skin of the chicken. Keep a close eye so the skin does not burn.

  7. Remove from the oven, baste with the remaining sauce.

  8. Garnish with leftover parsley, serve alongside, crispy fries, salad or rice.

 Crispy Potato Chips

  1. Using a mandoline or sharp knife, carefully slice potatoes about ⅛” thick. Place them in a large bowl of ice water. Allow the potatoes to sit for 30 minutes. Once the 30 minutes are done, drain, and pat dry.

  2. Heat up a heavy pot with a thermometer; pour in oil. Heat over medium-high until thermometer reaches 300°F.

  3. Working in batches, fry until golden brown and crisp, turning occasionally for an even cook, about 5-7 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel–lined wire rack. Season with salt and pepper.





 

Herbed Roasted Chicken

Roasting a whole chicken may seem a little daunting , but this recipe from the Barefoot Contessa will take all your fears away!

I adapted Ina’s herbed roasted chicken by adding BUTTER! I mixed the butter with the herbs and rubbed it under and over the chicken. its cooked on top of thick country bread slices. The juices of the chicken soak into the bread and creates a beautiful dark, crusty and caramelized bread, that is also great to make croutons for a salad, or if you’re like me, eat it by itself. 

What I like most about this recipe is how easy it is to adapt, the herbs and lemon in this dish can be substituted for whatever flavor combination you prefer.

 
Herbed Roasted Chicken 1
Herbed Roasted Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken (4-4 ½ lb.)

  • ½ stick of softened butter

  • 4 sprigs of thyme

  • 2 large garlic cloves, smashed flat

  • 1 lemon, quartered

  • 2 tsp. sea salt, plus extra for serving

  • 1/2 tsp. ground pepper

  • 3 to 4 slice of country bread ( ¾-inch-thick)

  • Olive oil

Recipe

  1. First, preheat oven to 500 degrees F and position rack on the lower third rack in the oven.

  2. In a small bowl, mix the butter, herbs and salt and pepper.

  3. Using your fingers, gently loosen the skin from the breasts and thighs without breaking the skin. Pat the chicken dry and rub the butter over and under the chicken skin. Place the quartered lemon in the cavity. Season generously with salt and pepper. Let sit for 20 minutes.

  4. While the chicken sits, prepare the cast iron pan. Cut thick slices of bread, (3/4-inch-thick). Place the slices in the cast iron pan.

  5. Place the chicken breast side up on the bread and brush lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Tuck the wings under the body.

  6. Let the chicken roast for 30 minutes then flip the chicken over and cook for another 15-20 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the breast is at 165 F, and the thighs are around 170 F.

  7. Once the chicken is done, remove from oven, cover with aluminum foil and let the chicken rest for 30 minutes. ( It is important to allow the chicken rest to ensure a juicy chicken. The chicken will still be hot)

  8. When 30 minutes are up, remove the chicken from pan and carve how you desire. The bread will be very toasted, even burnt but that is supposed to happen as it has socken up all the juices of the chicken, and caramelized.

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa