Years ago when I travelled to Mozambique, I visited an area in Maputo, an area that was still war-torn, the buildings had bullet holes in them…but people were very happy they had freedom and needed economic support to build them up as the once East African Meca. While I was on my journey I asked the driver to stop someplace that will sell food but told him I would like to enjoy some local cuisine or street food as some know it. He said he knew of an old Portuguese guy that was selling the best Peri-Peri chicken in the city and this was really on the street, literally his bbq was on the front pavement, by the street. Maputo is also until today very well known for fresh seafood!
Stoped and walked to the guy, introduced myself and noted to him I heard the good news, of him…Yes, you know we try to make some living now after he was, and people always need to eat, I give them the authentic flavours from Portugal with some African twist to it. Well, that is good, so can I please place my order. Sure. 1 full chicken. Wait there for me please..it will take some time to prepare. about 20 min or so…
When I took the first bite I have hooked on the flavour and order another one for the road… an amazing burst of freshness infused with the wood smoke and crafty hands of generations. I must get this recipe! Unfortunately, I took me a few more visits to become, friends before I was explained how to prepare the chicken. So to be privilege I wanted to share this magic with you all! A big thank you to Anthony.
Get the item from your fresh produce shop or the garden.
1 medium size chicken, that is cut open on the breast and made flat, also cut the major sections of meat with a knife so the heat can do better work later.
The magic marinade:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 freshly squeezed lemon juice, remove the pits they go bitter in the sauce.
3 tablespoon of crushed garlic – add more if you like it, like me.
1 tablespoon fine salt.
1 tablespoon crushed black pepper
1 hand of fresh rosemary.
Finely chopped Chillies to your tase, with Cayenne and Tumeric if you dare.
Very slowly melt all the above and keep warm next to the fire for use later on, You can also transfer the souse to a sealable container that will be used later.
By this time I hope you have started the bbq and the coals should be very hot and ready for action right. Cut the chicken small cuts into the large sections of the meat area so the heat can penetrate better, now put the chicken on the fire with bone first and at this stage, you don’t add any salt of spices, it is in the souse. Let the chicken sit for 10min, then turn for another 10min, turn again and leave another 8 to 10min on the bone side. Don’t worry if the bone side becomes black that is fine and normal. Then turn for the last time on the back fie a few min, about 4 to 5min.
Now that the chicken is ready and perfectly cooked you can remove it from the fire and place it into the sealable container with the juice and shake gently, then let it rest for 15min or longer. The chicken should be very soft and the pieces will break off easily.
Remove from the container and serve with a salad or fresh bread! O` don’t forget to let me know how you did, ok. The sauce cannot be used again and need to be discarded after the use.