The Storks of Böbs

The Storks of Böbs
A Very Fine Pair

A hot Sunday afternoon and a very hot Piri-Piri chicken

It is BBQ weather, we have been BBQing since the middle of last week, well I have been BBqing for many, many years  but I am talking about this summer.  We have 3 BBQs (I did have another but I sent it to join the great open air cooking ground in the sky (it was past its sell by date).

We have the grill type from Dancook, a tripod with a swinging grill and our latest addition is the barrel BBQ cum smoker, that we have been using for over a month now (I have smoked and BBQ’d in it on various occasions, but this was the to be true test of its metal. I was going to do a whole chicken, not any old chicken, but Piri-Piri chicken cooked in the beer can method.

We had our friends Marianne and Martin coming for lunch so I wasn't under any real pressure for it to succeed “gulp”, so without further ado let’s start the show. Marianne had been to Jazz Balticum and Martin had come to pick her up after a long weekend doing correction work  and as it was on their way home had decided to pop in.

I will start off with my take on Portuguese  Piri-Piri chicken (Frango Piri Piri),  For those of you who have a lidded BBQ you can do it whole using the beer can method, you can now buy (for a lot of money) readymade ones from the likes of Webber and Dancook, these are stainless steel. I much prefer the original method using a beer can and a stainless steel (or cast steel) plate, plastic is NOT recommended.
First, make your Piri-Piri marinade, you can make this as hot or as mild as you wish (you can also buy it ready made in a bottle, but half the fun is making your own), but I like mine hot, so plenty on chilli in it.
Piri-Piri Marinade
3 birds eye chillies (more or less according to taste) chopped
1 large red pepper diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped
2 shallots (or a medium onion) diced
2cm² piece of ginger grated
Juice and zest of 1 Lemon (limes are even better)
50ml of red wine (Portuguese of course)
150ml of olive oil
2 tsp. smoked paprika
S&P to taste
Put all of the above ingredients into a sauce pan, and soften over a low heat. If a bit too thick add a little water, taste and adjust seasoning. Put into a blender (I use my magic wand) and purée, it should be a thick glutinous mass, more paste like than ketchup like. (Mine turned out thinner than I wanted, but it worked just the same).

Buy a nice chicken, by nice I mean free range, with plenty of meat on about. The size of course is dependent on the number it is to serve, but any leftover can be used in a salad or as a sandwich filling. For 4 people I would conservatively suggest a 2kg chuck.

Prick the skin of the chicken all over and rub in the marinade, getting it into all the nooks and crannies (under the arm pits and between the thighs and body), salt and pepper inside. Place in a plastic bag and place in the fridge overnight.

On the day of the happening, heat up you BBQ and when the charcoals (I use pressed beech briquettes) are white and powdery on the outside. Move the coals to right and left extremities not direct under the chuck,

Open a can of beer (whatever you have to hand) drink half and then put the can on a steel plate (I used a skillet) and stuff the chicken onto it (through its bottom) if it waggles bit, tie it with wire to the plate. (if you are using an expensive Weber one do not follow these instructions).

Put the whole contraption in the centre area with no coals and put lid down, keep an eye on it and keep brushing with the marinade. It shouldn't take more than 35-40 minutes but check the thickest part with a thermometer it should be about 75°C. The chicken will have a wonderful crispy skin and be succulent and juicy inside.

Remove from the grill, take the now empty beer can out of the interior of the bird and roughly chop into pieces. The chicken not the beer can.

Serve with a nice fresh salad, a Portuguese Rosé (you know the one ) and plenty of  crusty bread.

Note! For those that do not have a kettle or barrel type BBQ, you can spatch-cock the chicken (Cut out the backbone, turn skin side up on to a chopping board, and push down with the heel of your hand until you hear the cracking of the ribs, rub all over with the marinade and place in a plastic bag in fridge overnight. Do the same with the charcoals as before, putting the bird on an aluminium foil grilling plate. Here you will have to keep your eye on things as because it is spatch-cocked it is more likely to burn on the outside and still be raw on the outside, you will have to keep adjusting the height of the grill.

We started off with Tapas, well actually we started off with a Virgin Mojito (no alcohol).   Some mussels in a green Mojo sauce,  A few green and black Spanish olives and some Spanish Manchego and Serrano cheese and Serrano ham and local wild pig smoked ham and Linda's Aioli (she needed to use up the egg yolks after using the whites for the Pavlova)

Our friend Martin made a wonderful chilled Gazpacho to follow, this is the second time I have had his Gazpacho in the past week and it keeps getting better.

So next was the BBQ, the chicken was suitably rested, the spanferkel (sucking pig) was swinging away merrily over the coals along with some Mojito sausages and some courgettes sliced lengthways.

To accompany the food I had done a pot of Papas Arrugadas (salty Potatoes) and Linda had made a nice fresh mixed salad.

The finishing touch to the afternoon was Linda had made a fresh fruit pavlova, I have heard that it was excellent, even our dear friend Carla got some, alas because of my diabetes I had strawberries and a scoop of mango yoghurt ice cream.