Its muggy and hot outside and crave desperately for spicy food. All of a sudden, I want to eat Peri Peri chicken. If I was a magician, the plate would be already in my table. Sadly, this is not the reality and would have to use my words to satisfy this sudden rage of Portuguese BBQ!!.
Piri-piri chicken is a spicy dish with roots in both Africa and Portugal. The dish originated in Angola and Mozambique when Portuguese settlers introduced chile peppers (known as piri-piri in Swahili). The trick for an amazing Piri Piri BBQ is to use whole chicken pieces and let it marinated for few hours before throw it in the grill. For best results, BBQ in charcoal. Here is my favorite recipe for the dish. It comes from Spice Trekkers or Epices de Cru in French. You can get the spices quite easily in Montreal or if yoWu prefer shop online:
- 2 tsp Peri-peri spices
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1½ Tbsp wine vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp olive oil
- Juice of ½ a lemon
- Grind Peri-peri spices. In a food processor, combine all ingredients and blend well.
- Marinate chicken in mixture, if possible for several hours.
- Grill in the BBQ
Definitely you want to stick with Portuguese wines with your piri piri chicken. I am firm believer of food/wine pairings from the same country/region. From my experience, Piri Piri pairs best with fruity reds, not highly tannic complemented by smoky spicy aromas. In wine pairings, you want create a bridge between your dish and the wine. Here are my three reccomendations of the moment:
Quinta da Serradinha Vinho Tinto 2012. SAQ # 13286861, $25.00
A wonderful Gastronomic wine. A blend of Baga 35%, Castelão 30%, Touriga Nacional 20%, Alfrocheiro 15%. Alurring aromas of ripe dark fruit with soft balsamic nuances. Delicate nuances of wood in the background as well. On the palate, it is structured and very round kind of caressing your palate. Biological wine.
Vincente Leite de Faria Gloria Reserva 2016. SAQ # 11156297, $13.65
An outstanding Douro with amazing quality for the price it commands. Glorious floral nuances with red plum and cassis notes. Refined and dense in the palate with Madagascar vanilla bean notes and licorice candy. Long finish.
Cabriz Colheita Selecionada 2015. SAQ # 13279872, $13.25
Another outstanding value wine that overdelivers for less than $15. A fantastic nose that recalls aromas of blueberry and raspberry jam with savoury notes of wild cooking herbs. On the palate, it is juicy with a terrific concentration and a lingering finale that recalls tobacco leaf, black pepper and wild sage.