COOK

Whiskey & Lime Peri-Peri Chicken

By Tony Jackman 11 October 2019

Photo by Colin McMurry on Unsplash

Switch up your standard peri-peri chicken recipe by adding whiskey and fresh lime juice and zest to the mix.

Long before Nando’s became a thing in every suburb and town in the UK, it was a New Thing in South Africa. Your TGIFood editor remembers interviewing the (now reclusive) Dick Enthoven after he’d bought Spier wine farm in the 1990s, who spoke of his then imminent plans to roll out the then young Nando’s franchise to the UK. Today, Nando’s is as common on the British high street as chicken tikka and Marks & Spencer.

Which thought challenges your TGIFood editor to try to take your ubiquitous peri-peri sauce and give it even extra zing and pizzazz. Enter lime and whiskey…

Serves 4 (or 2 – or 1 student)


1 whole chicken, quartered, carcass discarded
4 to 6 red chillies
3 Tbs chilli hot sauce

3 fat cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
200 ml extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs lemon juice
Zest and juice of 2 limes
160 ml whiske/y of your choice
Salt to taste
1 Tbs caramel sugar (or brown)

Combine all ingredients except the sugar (and obviously not the chicken) in a deep bowl and blitz. Pour half into a separate container. Dissect the chicken so that you have two leg/thigh quarters, two breasts which are skin-on but off the bone, and two little wings. Discard the carcass or use it to make a chicken stock or soup.

Douse the chicken pieces in the marinade (in other words, half of the peri-peri sauce), cover, refrigerate and leave for 6 to 8 hours to marinate.

Salt the chicken pieces and grill on hot coals on the braai or on a grill or in a skillet, turning frequently. The thick portions will need 30 minutes cooking, the wings less.

Before serving, pour the remaining half of the peri-peri sauce into a pan and heat through. Do not let it boil as it is likely to split. Once it has a gentle bubble, quickly add the brown sugar, stir briefly to dissolve, turn off the heat and douse the cooked chicken pieces in it.

Chilli hot sauce? I made my own 18 months ago from 86 red chillies I picked in my late summer garden, cooked with tomatoes, lots of garlic, lemon juice and salt to taste, then blitzed and jarred. There’s still a fair bit left (less after making this). But choose any savoury hot chilli sauce you like, just not a sweet one. DM

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