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Piri Piri

Piri Piri

THE INGREDIENTS

  • Chicken
  • Piri-piri sauce
  • Roasted red pepper
  • Cooked onion
  • Emmental cheese
  • Apple compote
  • Homemade bread roll

Origin of the dish

We take our inspiration from the gastronomy of Portugal to bring you a substantial recipe that combines moist chicken with piri-piri sauce to make a really tasty dish with a hint of hot spice.

This summer we’re travelling to Lisbon to present the Piri Piri, a sandwich with chicken, piri-piri sauce, Emmental cheese, roasted red pepper, cooked onion and apple compote; ingredients that we serve in our homemade bread roll.

RAPIDOELECTRO ON VISUALHUNT / CC BY-SAC

Piri-piri sauce is the recipe’s star component. It’s a condiment which is indispensable in any Portuguese home, having arrived in that country by way of its African colonies. It’s made from a mixture of chili peppers, sweet red pepper, coriander and cayenne. The result is a creamy sauce with a slight hint of hot spice, which reveals the influence of the new ingredients brought back from the colonies to form an essential part of Portugal’s gastronomy. In fact, the name comes directly from the Swahili piri-piri, which means “pepper-pepper”.

The piri-piri sauce adds a hot spicy touch that fills the entire mouth.

The recipe we offer is hot and hearty, ideal to savour as the main course. The tenderness of the chicken combines perfectly with the Emmental cheese, roasted pepper and cooked onion, while the apple compote brings a juicy touch and the piri-piri adds its prominence in the mouth as the main flavour of the dish.

Piri-piri

For centuries, Portugal had colonies on several of the world’s continents, and they significantly influenced the country’s gastronomy. A clear example of this is the star ingredient of our recipe, the piri-piri, which originated in Africa and is commonly found in Angola, Namibia and Mozambique.

Piri-piri is also known as peri-peri, pili-pili, African Red Devil or chili. It’s a member of the Capsicum frutescens family, which produces hot chilies. The fruits normally measure from 8 to 10 centimetres in length and are initially green in colour, turning bright red as they mature.

This chili is ideal for seasoning meat and fish, and is exquisite when grilled, roasted in the oven or cooked on the hotplate. The sauce for which it is a base is so popular in Portugal that it is marketed to spice up popular dishes like piri-piri chicken, a recipe used all over the country.

TOMPAGENET ON VISUAL HUNT / CC BY-SA
WIKIMEDIA

Portuguese explorers

Portugal and the sea, a binomen impossible to separate. Portuguese culture, cuisine and customs would not be the same without all that the country’s explorers contributed through their maritime expeditions.

The Portuguese began navigating the world’s oceans in the 14th century. But it would not be until the 15th and 16th centuries that they would initiate what came to be known as the Portuguese discoveries, a series of voyages and explorations carried out between 1418 and 1543. These discoveries led to Portugal’s colonial expansion and contributed to drawing a new world map. They were the result of an initiative that arose at the end of the Reconquista (reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula) with the aim of finding new, alternative trade routes to those of the Mediterranean Sea.

Portugal became the world’s leading maritime power as a result of her discoveries, her oceanographic survey of the Atlantic and her seafarers’ development of new navigation techniques and methods. So it should come as no surprise that she was the birthplace of the earliest explorers. Worthy of particular note amongst these is Ferdinand Magellan, the first person to circumnavigate the Earth; Bartolomeu Dias, the first European mariner to round what we now know as the Cape of Good Hope but which, at that time in 1488, was called the Cape of Storms, and, some years later, Vasco da Gama, who discovered that it was possible to sail around the tip of Africa and continue on to India. It was following this landmark achievement that the cape was ordered to be named Cape of Good Hope.