Piri-Piri Roasted Chicken and Tomatoe and Duxelle Appetizer

October 5, 2006

Roasted ChickenTo begin with I should explain Piri Piri. Piri Piri is a hot pepper that is used a lot in Portuguese cuisine, mostly in a sauce made of olive oil and the said ground hot pepper. The sauce is slathered on grilled chicken and fish and is a common condiment. I have the chance of living relatively close to a Portuguese neighborhood with some of the best, and cheap, grilled chicken you have ever tasted. The chicken is grilled with minimal seasoning and then when cut the sauce is put on it and the chicken simply drinks the sauce and it becomes the best thing this side of Foie Gras, almost.


That said, grilling a whole chicken requires some skill and some time. I wanted the Piri Piri taste without the hassle so I roasted some chicken legs with some roasted potatoes and tried to get within a earshot of the original. Following is my take on it.


Roasted Chicken PlateFirst, I put some music on to encourage the cooking. I decided to go to the joyful and incredibly catchy sounds of Brian Seeger. Brian is a good friend of mine that has released an incredible folk record on label New Romance for Kids. The record is a collection of smile inducing songs about love, friendship, Jesus’ 2006 occupations and lots of incredible and catchy melodies. This is a record that is impossible not to like, simple as that.


  • 6 legs of chicken
  • ¼ cup of Piri Piri Sauce (a non-vinegar based hot sauce will work, like many Thai hot sauces)
  • 8 small potatoes
  • 2 sprigs of Thyme
  • 2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • salt and pepper


Mince two of the garlic cloves and put inside a bowl big enough for the six legs of chicken and the marinade. Add the Piri Piri sauce and one tablespoon of olive oil, at least one teaspoon of salt and pepper to taste. Mix well until uniform, if the marinade is a bit thick, just add a bit of water to it but it should remain fairly gooey. Set aside for later. Pre-heat oven at 425 Farenheit.


Cut the potatoes in bit size pieces, I had small potatoes so I cut them in half, and add them to another bowl. Add 2 sprigs of thyme leaves removed from stem, a hefty dose of salt, a tablespoon of olive oil and some black pepper to taste. Mix well to coat the potatoes on all sides. Put the potatoes at the bottom of a ten inch pan and put in the oven.


Let the potatoes cook for about 15 minutes before getting the pan out and put the chicken legs on top of the potatoes. Pour the remainder of the marinade on the chicken legs, being careful not to put too much on the potatoes. Put back in the oven for another 45 minutes. Enjoy.


The next thing I did was a small and fresh appetizer that should interest you. The recipe is very simple yet tasty. First, for the French-deficient in presence: the duxelle. A duxelle is simply mushrooms, usually the white cup mushrooms that are cut in very small cubes, 8th of an inch, cooked with onions, or shallots, in butter. Now, there are a few variations that can be done and I threw a little twist myself in this recipe, but the basis is that.

I felt that I needed energy for this so Corrosion of Conformity‘s Animosity was what I listened to. Simply one of the greatest hardcore record ever, in my opinion. Before all the crossover crap, C.O.C were as close to thrash as hardcore and created a few completely insane records at the beginning of their career and none of them can touch Animosity. That record is fast, brutal and efficient, everything you want in a hardcore record. It had been a while since I listened to this record, it was good good to listen to it once more.


Here we go:

1 large not too ripe tomato, or two smaller ones

½ of a small onion,

8-10 white cup mushrooms

¼ cup of red wine

2 sage leaves

olive oil

4 slices of your favorite cheese (I used brie, but Gruyere, blue, old cheddar or anything tasty will do)

salt and pepper


Cutting the mushrooms requires a bit of patience as you want them almost as small as possible but also as even as possible, a 8th of an inch is just about right. Do the same thing with the onion. Mince the sage leaves. In a medium-hot skillet, add about a teaspoon of olive oil and add the onion. You don’t want to brown the onion, simply that it starts to sweat. After about 2 minutes, add the mushrooms and the sage. let cook until the mushrooms look almost cooked through. Add the red wine, salt and pepper and let the liquid evaporate. Set aside. Cut the tomato in half inch slices, you should have four of them. Spread the duxelle on top of slices of tomato, top with slice of cheese. Put the tomatoes on a sheet pan and put under the broiler for a minute, two max, just so that the cheese starts melting. Remove from oven and enjoy with a few drop of balsamic vinegar on the side.



  1. […] Piri-Piri Roasted Chicken and Tomatoe and Duxelle Appetizer […]

  2. […] everything was closed.  Still no Portuguese food, and by now I was really starting to want some Chicken Piri Piri that I kept seeing signs […]

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