Peri Peri Chicken With Lemon Rice and Chunky Tomato Salsa
A couple of days ago I was really craving some Nando’s. Sadly though, there is no Nando’s here in Abu Dhabi, atleast not to my knowledge there isn’t. There are a couple of Nando’s in Dubai but for some weird reason I haven’t been to them. The only places where I’ve tried Nando’s at are London and Pakistan. Knowing that I won’t be going to either of those places any time soon, I decided to head to the “Sauces” aisle of my local supermarket instead. Lo and Behold! There it was! Sitting there, staring at me, begging me to be taken home and taken care of. And so, I complied. With my bottle of Nando’s Medium Hot Peri Peri sauce tightly clenched in my hand, I headed towards the checkout counter, mouth already watering at the thought of the endless possibilities that I have with my new friend. *evil grin*
P.S : This is a recipe for Peri Peri Chicken, not Peri Peri Sauce! So for those of you who knew of Peri Peri chicken before they knew of Nando’s and demand a recipe from scratch that excludes the use of Nando’s sauce, kindly head towards another blog. Thanks
P.P.S: For those confused over the tone used in the earlier post script, kindly refer to my About me page.
I decided to serve the Peri Peri chicken with Lemon Rice as I thought the lemony flavor of the rice would make for a good balance with the spicy chicken. I also made a fresh chunky tomato salsa to compliment all the other flavors. All three recipes are as follows:
Peri Peri Chicken
- Boneless Chicken Breast 500 gm
- Nando’s Medium Hot
Peri Peri sauce 8-10 tbsp.
- Crushed Garlic 2 cloves
- Garam masala 1/2 tsp
- Lemon juice 3 tbsp.
- Dried Oregano 1 tsp
- Dried Mint powder (optional) 1 tsp
- Black Pepper 1 tsp
- Olive oil 2-3 tbsp.
Combine all the above ingredients in a bowl except the olive oil, cover and allow to marinate in the fridge overnight or for atleast a couple of hours. Once marinated, drizzle some olive oil on the chicken breasts (always grill the food and not the pan while grilling) and place on a sizzling hot grill pan and let the chicken sit there for about 2 minutes to let the grill marks set in. After about 2 minutes turn the heat down to medium and cook the chicken on each side for about 10 minutes until done.
Serves 5-6 people
- Basmati Rice 3 cups
- Oil 2-3 tbsp.
- Onion 100 gm (or 1 and a 1/2 medium sized red onion)
- Cumin seeds 1 tsp
- Fennel seeds 1 tsp
- Star Aniseed 1 star
- Water 4 cups
- Lemon Juice of 1 large lemon
- Lemon Zest 2 tbsp.
- Yellow food color (optional) 3-4 drops
Wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes. While the rice is soaking heat some oil in a heavy bottomed fairly large pot. Dice up the onion finely and throw into the pot once the oil is hot along with the cumin seeds, fennel seeds and star aniseed. Saute the onion with the spices until the onion is golden brown. Once the rice is soaked drain the water and have it on stand by ready to go into the pot as soon as the onion is done. Once the onion is golden brown, add the rice, some salt, and sauté for about 30 seconds. The moisture from the soaked rice will slow down the cooking process giving you enough time to arrange for 4 cups of water which will be going in next (make sure its room temperature water and not hot water). Add the water to the rice and bring to a boil. Once there is no water to be seen on the surface of the rice, turn the heat down to low, cover with a lid and let the rice cook for about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes sprinkle the lemon zest into the rice, add the food colour and carefully mix it all into the rice preferably with a fork so as to fluff the rice and keep from breaking it. Check for salt at this point and if the rice is completely cooked then turn off the heat and keep covered with the lid until ready to serve.
Chunky Tomato Salsa
- Red onion 40gms
- Tomato 200 gms
- Cucumber 50 gms
- Green Bell Pepper 50 gms
- Fresh Cilantro 2 tbsp.
- Lemon Juice of 1/2 a large lemon
Dice all the vegetables into really small cubes and toss into a bowl along with some salt and lemon juice. Finely chop up some cilantro and add what looks about 2 tbsps. of cilantro to the salsa and mix well. Serve with the Peri Peri chicken and Lemon Rice.
Enjoy while the rice is still hot off the stove!