Piri piri chicken

Last night I went for a personal training session with some friends from work. It was HARD WORK. I had previously planned to just cook some pasta thing for dinner (most likely with lots of cheese), but I was feeling particularly glowing and virtuous after my workout, and decided I didn’t want to ruin all my hard work by stuffing my face with cheese (I KNOW, I never say that).

Instead, I decided to stop off at the supermarket on my way home to stock up on nice healthy things. My endorphin rush coupled with the nice warm weather meant that I wanted something light, fresh, and healthy. There is nothing I loathe more than bland low-fat food, so in order to avoid all trace of blandness I decided to grab the ingredients for piri piri chicken.

The recipe below is taken from Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals. However, I don’t cook the chicken in the same way and don’t make the same accompaniments as he does. Basically I just used the recipe for the sauce, and improvise the rest!

I served this with sweet potato wedges, guacamole and slices of cucumber. It turned out to be the perfect meal for my mood; I love it when that happens. Also the guacamole uses up most of the things you have leftover from the sauce (the chilli ( if you’re like me and use hardly any) the red onion and the lemon) – how economical!

Piri piri chicken

Serves 2

2 skinless chicken breasts

½ small red onion

1 clove of garlic

1 bird’s-eye chilli (I actually used half a normal red chilli)

1/2 tbsp sweet smoked paprika

Zest and juice 1/2 lemon

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

A bunch of fresh basil

A splash of water

Guacamole:

1 ripe avocado

1/4 red onion

1/2 red chilli

Juice 1/2 lemon

Sea salt

Sweet potato wedges:

2 sweet potatoes

Olive oil

Method:

First thing I do is cut the sweet potato into wedges, drizzle them with olive oil and put on a baking tray and into the oven, heated to about 200 degrees.

The next thing, add all of the ingredients for the piri piri sauce into a food processor (except the chicken, obviously) and blitz until it’s a pulpy paste. Take the chicken breasts and score them with a knife through to about half the thickness of the meat. This will make sure the flavour really gets in there. Then arrange the chicken in a roasting dish and pour over the sauce, working it in to the cuts you just made.

Put the chicken in the oven, and leave to roast for about 20 minutes, or until cooked through.

For the guacamole, cut the avocado in half, remove the stone, and scoop out the flesh. Put it in a bowl and mash it with a fork until it reaches the consistency you want for your guacamole (some like it chunky, some like it almost smooth). Chop the chilli and the red onion very finely and add to the mashed avocado with a good pinch of sea salt and a good squeeze of lemon. Mix everything together and have a taste – if it needs more of anything then tweak it until it becomes a party in your mouth.

The chicken is ready when the meat is cooked through, and the sauce has thickened into a kind of paste. Serve it with a good spoon of the sauce over the top, the wedges and the guacamole and cucumber slices. You could, of course, have some sour cream as well but it wouldn’t have fit in with my good mood!

I also managed to make an amazing lunch by boiling some new potatoes and roasting half a red pepper, and mixing them with leftover chicken, some leftover sliced red onion and some cucumber chunks.  I’ve also saved some guacamole, and we shall be enjoying some special alone time together later. Yummmmm.

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