With summer coming (when the sun will definitely shine more than it has done this spring) this is the perfect chicken dish to start the barbecuing season off with.
Pepper chicken is another dish that reminds me of all those family parties we attended growing up, where there were tray upon trays of this nutty and peppery chicken. There was always a non pepper version for the kids amongst the 20 other dishes to get stuck into!
You could say it is a West African version of satay chicken but certainty more fiery, though just enough heat to get your tongue tingling and not masque the gorgeous flavours.
This dish can also be roasted in the oven too (I will provide both cooking methods below). Both cooking methods are just as wonderful and juicy as each other though, as you can imagine, with barbecuing you get a crispier charred skin and amazing smoked flavour that just takes it to another level! Teamed with roasted lemons and sweet potato rostis, this will be your go to dish for all your summer barbecues!
You can make a large batch of this marinade and then split it up in to smaller batches to freeze. It’ll keep for a month and means half your prep. is done for your barbecuing feast!
Like the pepper kingfish, it is best to marinate the chicken overnight for it to be truly tasty from the skin to the bone.
The prep. part – serves 4
- 4 large chicken thighs with the skin on (if you’re not keen on chicken skin, at least keep it on to barbeuce so as to keep it moist)
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 salad tomato
- 1 ½ tbsp. of peanut butter – I use whole earth organic crunchy peanut butter
- 1tbsp of tomato paste
- 2 garlic cloves
- ½ white onion
- 4 lemons, juiced
- 1 tsp of scotch bonnet pepper – I usually have a jar of blitzed scotch bonnet in the fridge and top it with a little olive oil so it keeps longer.)
- 1/3 of a low salt vegetable kallo cube
- 2 lemons, cut in half
Sweet potato rosti
- 480g of sweet potato, grated (Beauregard variety is a good all –rounder for boiling, mashing and baking, as well as being a beautiful colour)
- 2 medium eggs
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp of plain flour
- pinch of salt
- Put all the ingredients for the marinade into a food processor and blitz until near smooth.
- Place the chicken thighs in tupperware, cover with marinade and place in the fridge overnight.
- The next day, or 2 -3 hours if cooking on the same day, preheat the oven at 175°C.
- Add a pinch of salt to the grated sweet potato and leave to sit for 5 – 10 minutes to draw out any excess water.
- Then squeeze out any of the excess water and mix in the chopped garlic cloves and plain flour with the sweet potato.
- Divide mixture into 4 and mould into discs to form rostis.
- If you are just going to roast the chicken, and not barbecue it, place it skin side down in a tray with the lemons on the top shelf (keeping some of the marinade back to brush or spoon on when turned) and the sweet potatoes rostis in another tray on the middle shelf in the oven.
- Allow to roast for 20 minutes.
- If you are going to barbecue the chicken follow the instructions on the charcoal packaging, ensuring the coal is white before you place the chicken on the barbecue, again skin side down for 10 minutes. Then turn and brush with the remaining marinade and barbecue for a further 10 minutes. You should also put the rostis in the oven when you start barbecuing.
- You can place the lemons near the edges of the barbecue where it is cooler and allow to cook for 5 minutes and then place in a tray.
- After 20 minutes, if you are roasting the chicken, turn the oven up to 185°C, turn the chicken and brush with the remaining marinade. And If you are barbecuing it, after 20 minutes on the barbecue, transfer the chicken to a tray and place in the oven on the top shelf.
- You can also turn the rostis. at this point.
- After a further 20 minutes, remove the chicken from the oven and allow to rest, giving the rostis a further 10 minutes to cook.
- To check the chicken is cooked, pierce at the neatness part of the thigh. If the juices run clear the chicken is cooked. If there is any sign of blood, place the the chicken in the oven, turn down the heat the oven and cook a little more.
- Serve with some fine beans or a green salad.