Peri peri chicken is hugely popular in restaurants around the world. This recipe shows you how to make it at home. The tanginess of the lemon zest in the sauce paired with the charring on the outside of the chicken is what makes this stand out to me.
The sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 to 2 weeks, or frozen, and can be used in many other dishes as well.
For the peri peri sauce:
Place all the ingredients, except the olive oil, in a blender and blitz to a smooth purée.
Pour into a pan and cook over a low heat for 15 minutes, stirring continuously, then remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.
Pour back into the blender, turn it to high and slowly stream in the olive oil until the sauce is smooth and emulsified.
For the chicken:
Place the chicken in a bowl with 3 tablespoons of the peri peri sauce and season with sea salt. Mix together until incorporated.
Heat a griddle pan (cast-iron works best) over a medium-high heat and brush with oil. When up to temperature, place the chicken in the pan, skin-side down.
Cook for 5 minutes on each side, then turn up the heat to high and cook for a further 3 minutes on each side to get a good charring all over (this is where all the flavor is). Throughout the cooking process, use the remaining peri peri from the bowl mixed with a splash of olive oil, and brush it over the chicken to keep it juicy. Once cooked, remove the chicken from the heat and rest for 5 minutes.
Mix the yogurt with the remaining 2 tablespoons of peri peri sauce and a pinch of sea salt to taste.
Slice the rested chicken into strips, then place in the warm pitas with the yogurt and peri peri sauce, lettuce, pickled onions and cilantro.
Excerpted from “SAM’S EATS” by Sam Way. Copyright © 2023 by Sam Way. Photographs by David Loftus. Used with permission of Voracious, an imprint of Little, Brown and Company. New York, NY. All rights reserved.