We’ve been digging into ‘Cabana The Cookbook – Brasilian Barbeque and Beyond’ by David Ponte, Lizzy Barber & Jamie Barber again. Perhaps we are already dreaming of smoking barbecues and long summer evenings. We might even upgrade the smoker this year. This excites me greatly. 

Saturday nights are typically a time for dirty burgers or similar, and yesterday we went with a chicken recipe named ‘The Beirut’ using boneless thighs that are marinated in chilli, garlic, lemon juice, sweet paprika (amongst other things) and finished off with a honey mustard glaze. That’s some great tasting meat right there, all served in a gently warmed flatbread.

To make our version of this meal (serves four) you will need: 

– 600g of spicy Malagueta chicken (recipe below) 

– Four large thick flatbreads 

– 70g of wild rocket 

– Four plum tomatoes (sliced)

– 50g of cheddar cheese (grated) 

To make the chicken marinade:

– 70g of fresh red Chillies

– Five cloves of garlic (peeled/crushed)

– 70ml of olive oil

– Two tablespoons of lemon juice

– Two and a half teaspoons of tomato purée

– Two and a half teaspoons of caster sugar

– Half a teaspoon of dried chilli flakes

– One heaped tablespoon of  paprika

– Two teaspoons of sea salt 

– A pinch of dried oregano 

Method:

-Pre-heat the oven to gas mark four/180C. Cut the chillies lengthways and place in a roasting tray with the garlic and olive oil. Cook for ten minutes and leave to cool. 

– Place the chillies, garlic and oil into a blender along with the rest of the ingredients. Blitz to a smooth purée. (This can be kept in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week). 

To make the honey mustard glaze:

– Two tablespoons of honey

– One tablespoon of cider vinegar 

– One teaspoon of Dijon mustard 

Method:

– Stir all ingredients together well in a small bowl. Use a brush to glaze grilled meat. 

To make the Malagueta chicken:

– 600g of boneless Chicken Thighs

– Five tablespoons of the marinade (as above) 

– One large red pepper 

– One quantity of honey mustard glaze (as above) , salt and black pepper 

Method:

– Place the thighs in a bowl or in a large freezer bag and cover well with the marinade. Leave to marinate for at least four hours, overnight if possible. 

– Pre-heat the grill to a medium heat. Deseed the pepper and cut into three centimetre strips. Thread the chicken and pepper pieces alternately onto four/five metal skewers. Season well with salt and pepper and grill for around fifteen minutes, turning to make sure each side is cooked. 

– Baste with the honey glaze and continue to grill for a further few minutes until golden brown and throughly cooked through. The chicken should be firm to touch. 

– Remove the skewers and leave to rest for a few minutes before serving.

To serve, slice the flatbreads and gently warm them under the grill or in a toaster. Take the bottom half and spread with a little mayo (if desired) and top with a handful of rocket followed by a layer of sliced tomato. Slice the chicken into strips and arrange over the tomatoes Sprinkle with cheese then add the top half. At this point you can place on a warm griddle pan for a few minutes to melt the cheese. 

If you like hot and spicy food, these are certainly for you. The chicken is bursting with flavour and has a real kick to it, but with a sweet edge coming from the honey mustard glaze. Very delicious and the flatbreads make a welcome change from big bready buns! The meat would work a treat on the barbecue too. Just waiting for the weather now. Hurry up sunshine. 

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