When I worked in New York, I was taken to the most glorious barbecue joint that served a piri piri butter laced chicken with a bowl of cheese chips and a simple salad. It was a no-frills sort of establishment, the kind where you could put your elbows on the table and lick the marinade from your fingers, and it was pure gustatory heaven. When it was time to leave NYC, I abandoned my friends and spent my last fistful of dollars, alone, on one more hit of chicken 'n' chips.
1.7kg organic chicken, butterflied*
Piri piri butter
1 large marinated roasted capsicum
2 cloves garlic (or smoked garlic)
150g unsalted butter
1 red chilli, chopped (seeds removed, optional)
salt and pepper
½ tsp ground coriander
Quick village salad
1 lebanese cucumber, julienned or shredded using a mandolin
¼ cup semi-dried tomatoes
excellent quality cheese-flavoured potato crisps
1. Preheat oven to 200C and bring the chicken to room temperature.
2. Add the piri piri butter ingredients to a blender and blitz to combine. (It might seem like quite a bit of butter but lots of it will ooze out indecently while the chicken cooks.)
3. Gently loosen the skin of the chicken with your fingers and carefully push the butter under the skin, attempting as even a layer as possible. Smear any remaining butter over the outside of the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Place your chicken on a large baking tray lined with baking paper. Roast for 35-45 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
4. While the chicken is roasting, combine the cucumber, semi-dried tomatoes and their oil in a bowl. Squeeze with lemon juice and refrigerate until serving.
5. Serve chicken with salad and potato crisps.
*Tip: I could sing the praises of a butterflied chook to the end of time. Maximum crisp-skin-to-meat ratio as well as a gloriously even cooking time, avoiding sad and dried thighs. Ask your butcher to do this or follow our step-by-step guide.