Peri Peri Spatchcock Chicken Recipe
Need spice in your life? Then Peri Peri Chicken is the perfect meal for you! This traditional Portuguese recipe is usually made with Peri Peri peppers, also known as African Bird’s Eye Chillies. Why that name? We may never know, but it’s okay ‘cause we’re using habanero peppers anyway for some sweetness and to bump up the scovilles (or Scotch bonnets, those are also amazing)! The secret to success with this recipe is ALL in the sauce! Of course, you want a juicy and tender chicken, but MEATER will take care of that for you 😉. Let’s get down to business!
1 whole chicken
2 roasted red bell peppers (de-skinned and de-seeded)
2 habanero peppers or Scotch bonnet peppers, if Peri Peri’s are unavailable
4 garlic cloves
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 bunch cilantro leaves (roughly chopped)
15 basil leaves
7 tbsp olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp molasses
1 tbsp salt
Medium well 165°F
First things first, make sure your chicken is not frozen! No cold chickens allowed! If you just took your chicken out of the freezer, it’s okay, no judgement here. While that chicken is hanging out, we can prep the oven and the Peri Peri sauce! Preheat your oven to 390°F, then pour yourself a glass of wine for completing step one. Next, you want to roast two red bell peppers. This is important because fresh red bell peppers will give you a watery sauce, and we don’t want that! We want a nice, thick consistency. So to avoid a watery sauce, brush a baking sheet lightly with olive oil. Lay peppers on their sides, stems pointing sideways. Put the baking sheet in the oven and allow the peppers to roast for 20 minutes at 390°F. Using tongs, give the peppers a half turn every few minutes. The skin should be charred and soft, and the peppers should look slightly collapsed. If they don’t look ready, let them roast for a few more minutes. When they’re done, remove the baking sheet from the oven. Lastly, rub or scrape off the charred skin, cut the pepper open and discard the seeds. *Tip:* the roasted pepper will be more flavorful if you don’t rinse it with water!
Now it’s time to take another sip of your wine. Then, grab your food processor ‘cause all the ingredients are about to be blended to make the BEST sauce ever! First up is cilantro – cut off the stems and they’re good to go in the food processor! You might want to save some to garnish at the end as well! Then, grab the two habanero peppers, remove the stems, and cut them into halves (keep the seeds in the recipe, if you dare). Feel free to save some of these as well if you want to garnish for a pop of color and add some more spice! Add some basil leaves in there as well, about fifteen of ‘em! Take four garlic cloves, peel the skins, and cut off the brown bottoms that were connected to the root, then toss them in. Last, but not least, add the paprika, olive oil, lemon juice, molasses, and salt and BLEND BLEND BLEND!
You should have a nice, thick consistency in the end. If you do, congratulations! Now set some of the sauce aside in a separate bowl, about ½ cup. You’ll use this later. 😉
It’s chicken time! Grab that room temperature chicken and get ready to spatchcock! Take another sip of your drink ‘cause you need to stay hydrated. Then, trim the tips of the wings and use strong kitchen shears to cut alongside the backbone, from one end of the bird to the other. Cut along the other side of the backbone to remove it completely. Open the cavity of the chicken to find the breastbone.
Cut a shallow incision through the flexible bone, from one end to the other, yet not all the way through the breast meat and skin on the other side. This allows the chicken to be flattened. Now flip that chicken over and press till it lays flat on the cutting board. You did it! Drink, drink!
Next, pat the chicken dry. This is super important so the sauce doesn’t slide off the chicken! Place the chicken on a baking pan and pour the beautiful sauce you made all over the entire chicken, don’t be shy! Let the chicken marinate in the fridge for about one hour. In the meantime, it’s a good idea to clean up a little (you’ll thank us for telling you to do this later). Take another sip.
Once the hour has passed, preheat your oven to 430°F and take the chicken out of the fridge. Set up the cook on the MEATER app and insert your probe into the center of the thickest part of the breast. Set your internal target temperature to your preferred doneness, we suggest 165°F for a nice, medium-well. Pop that chicken in the oven and cook at 430°F for 25 min then decrease the temp to 355°F for the rest of the cook! MEATER will alert you when it’s time to remove from heat. Refill whatever you’re drinking ‘cause it should be empty by now. Now, remember that sauce you set aside ages ago? Grab that yummy sauce and drizzle it all over the chicken! Now you may garnish as you please, then serve your hungry guests or just serve yourself a GIANT plate (both are encouraged). It’s time to gruuub!