If you’ve never heard of Nando’s, you’re missing out. It’s a global restaurant chain that specialises in flame-grilled Peri-Peri chicken with a variety of sauces to go with it. With the introduction of the African bird’s eye chilli to the Portuguese, Peri-Peri was born. It’s a spice blend of African bird’s eye chilli, dried oregano, paprika, dried cardamom, ground ginger and onion powder. In the UK you can buy packets of the dry rub or you can make your own by combining a tsp of each dry ingredient except the chilli powder (only half tsp) and adding a half tsp salt. You can’t really go too wrong!
Heat the oven to about 450F/230C. Rub the spices over a few chicken legs and wings. Spread onto a baking tray (flat but with slight lip on edge to catch any juices) and drizzle a little oil all over.
While the oven heats up, get started on the rice and finely chop one red onion (yellow would be fine too) and 1-2 chilli peppers. On moderate heat, cook in a pot with a bit of oil and butter until soft.
The oven should be hot now, so add the chicken into the oven on the top shelf. With a fan assisted oven this should take about 25-30 minutes. Pierce a thick part of the leg to check if juices run clear.
Add about 2 cups of rice and coat with a bit more butter. Add a heaping tsp of cumin, large pinch of salt and a good couple tbsp of ketchup. Mix well and add about 3 to 3.5 cups of chicken stock (or just a bit more than 1.5 times volume of rice depending on how you like it). If you don’t have homemade, add a stock cube and hot water direct to rice. Let simmer on low/moderate heat covered. Stir occasionally so it won’t stick to the bottom. As the liquid is nearly evaporated, keep the lid on without peeking for a couple minutes so it can steam. Stir to fluff the rice and add a drained can of corn. Taste and season as necessary. This should take about 10-12 minutes (may vary on how high a heat you cook it!).
Once the chicken is done, plate them. While they’re resting take the baking tray and put on a very low heat. Add a small splash of stock or water and gently scrape up all the good bits. Pour into a small bowl for a bit of sauce on the side. Serve up your rice with a little bit of chopped coriander/cilantro and enjoy!
The chicken should be moist and full of flavor. If possible, marinate the chicken overnight or as long as possible. I used chicken legs and wings that I had carved from whole chickens earlier in the week. It really is such better value for money. I bought two medium sized chickens over the weekend and carved them into breasts, legs and wings. Just got it all done with plastic wrapped the different portions. I used the carcasses to make stock with 1 carrot, 1 celery, half onion, bay leaves, whole peppercorns and sprigs of thyme. And I just let it go on low simmer for about an hour and a half although it probably could’ve done with 45 minutes. So from 2 chickens, I made a dinner for 4, a dinner for 2, lunch for 2 and have enough stock to make soup for 8-10 people. All of that for £6! Add to that low cost ingredients like pasta, rice, canned corn, olive oil, onions and carrots! It’s such a great way to have several homemade meals and save money. Happy cooking!