Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Jamie Oliver's Piri Piri Chicken and Cilantro Feta Potatoes

So I mentioned the other day that I would try out one of Jamie Oliver's "Meals in Minutes".  Perhaps they tell time differently in England, but Jamie's idea of what can be accomplished in 30 minutes is nowhere near what my idea is.  Bless his heart, he thinks that the following two recipes, along with a side salad and the Portuguese Tarts can all be made in 30 minutes.  It took me at least 45 minutes to make just the chicken and potatoes.  That being said, I have discovered that Jamie likes to frantically work like a mad man in the kitchen so that he can maximize his time and serve up a fairly large meal in as little time as possible.  I, on the otherhand, find that we do not need two side dishes and dessert with our meal, and I am not able to multi-task the way he is.  It's just too hectic.  I would rather put my chicken in the pan, and stand there for 10 minutes while it browns rather than using that time to whip up dessert.

Anyway, I'm getting off track.  Last night's recipe was Piri Piri Chicken with Cilantro Feta Potatoes (and if you feel like it, toss in the Arugula Salad and Portuguese Tarts!)  I made some slight variations (nothing major), and took my sweet time doing it.  The recipe listed on the link and the recipe from his cookbook have some minor discrepancies, so I based my recipe on the cookbook version and then adapted it to suit our taste.

8 chicken thighs, seasoned with salt & pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
fresh thyme
1 red onion
4 garlic cloves
3 chilies (I bought skinny green chilies - not sure which kind they were.  And I seeded them, which Jamie did not, so his sauce must have been CRAZY spicy!)
zest of 2 lemons, juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. paprika
1/4 c. white vinegar
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
about 1/4-1/2 c. water
some fresh mint leaves (I didn't have any basil, which is what Jamie used)

In a grill pan, heat some olive oil and brown the chicken on both sides.  Transfer to a baking dish.  Add bell peppers to the grill pan and cook them for a few minutes, then add them to the baking dish as well and top with some sprigs of thyme.  Put the remaining ingredients in a blender and purée until smooth.  Pour over the chicken and bake at 400 F for about 15 minutes.

3 potatoes
1 sweet potato
1/2 lemon
1/3 c. feta cheese
handful of fresh cilantro, chopped

Chop the potatoes into large chunks (leave the peel on for extra flavour).  Place in a micrwoave-safe bowl with the lemon and cover with plastic wrap.  Cook on high for 15 minutes.  (This was Jamie's method -- I used the new silicone steamers from Epicure and cooked the potatoes for 8 minutes.  It worked perfectly!)  Toss in feta cheese and cilantro.  Season with salt & pepper if you like.
This was a very good meal - I scraped off the sauce for the kids so it wasn't too spicy, but it had just enough heat for the grown-ups.  (Although I can't imagine how hot it would be if you left the seeds in the chili peppers!)  The kids weren't crazy about the potatoes, but they missed out because I thought they were delicious!  Overall it was a pretty successful meal, even if I'm not as fast as Jamie Oliver!
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