Cooked By TFW: Peri Peri Chicken
Howdy kids! It's everyone's favorite Quincy-Jones-in-training, Fight Chef Six Finger Tym, here with a great couple's dish for this special week! I've been anxiously waiting for THIS specific week for close to a year now! I can't wait to share that special moment with the person I love the most…
Oh, and I guess today is Valentine's Day or something? As we learned in November, and were reminded in December, Uncle Tym Tym don't do made-up corporate holidays… No, this week is Black Panther Premiere Week!!!! This Friday, the greatest Marvel movie of all time finally comes out! I've already taken out a small personal loan just so I can see that movie a trillion times in theaters with the person I love the most: myself! (Because I love me like Kanye loves Kanye.)
I was hyped when I learned two years ago there was going to be a Black Panther movie (because there aren't that many mainstream black super heroes and representation matters), but then when I heard it would be directed by Ryan Coogler and starring Chadwick Boseman (the only Chad we aren't saying "no" to… have you seen this man's credits? Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall, James Brown, and now T'Challa???), Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, Daniel Kaluuya, Sterling K. Brown, Forest Whitaker, and the ageless queen Angela Basset… bruh… I'm still picking up little pieces of my brain off the floor after my head exploded (BECAUSE REPRESENTATION MATTERS!!!!). For a little background on Coogler: He's a young director; so young that BP is only his third feature-length movie. His first two, Fruitvale Station (a movie I literally watch every NYE. Please learn more about Oscar Grant) and Creed both star Michael B. Jordan and are rated 94% and 95%, respectively, on Rotten Tomatoes. Black Panther's currently sitting at 98% (three out of 121 critic reviews are negative and – if we're being honest – kinda racist). If you have no idea what I'm talking about, please take a moment and watch this trailer… and then make plans with your friends and family to flood the movie theaters this weekend!
So yeah… to say I'm hyped about this movie would be a gross undersell. I pre-ordered the soundtrack two weeks ago and it's been the only thing I've listened to since its midnight release last Friday. (Technically, 10pm Thursday night! Shout out to the Mountain Time Zone!) I have a Black Panther shirt I plan on wearing to the gym this week, so I can channel my inner T'Challa… I'm naming my first born son T'Challa and daughter Shuri! I am so amped for this movie to come out, y'all! And that's why this week's recipe – technically a two-person meal, for you lovebirds out there – is in honor of the theatrical release of "The Biggest, Blackest Superhero Movie Ever." We are making Peri Peri Chicken!
History lesson: Peri Peri (or Piri Piri [or Pili Pili]) is South African in origin, but there's a heated debate on whether it's actually a Portuguese dish. Let's quickly squash this. In Swahili, "piri-piri" translates to "pepper-pepper;" however, South Africans now call the dish Peri Peri. Any of the three spellings is accepted, though. The main ingredient in the original dish is the African Bird's Eye Chili, a super-spicy little pepper found in the southern part of the continent. The debate stems from the fact that the Portuguese colonized two Southern African countries, Angola and Mozambique, learned of the Bird's Eye Chili, and – as colonizers are wont to do – rewrote history to claim they came up with the piri piri sauce. I was inspired by an interview Chadwick Boseman did a few months ago, where he explained why T'Challa, a European-educated man, doesn't speak with a European accent. The reason: Wakanada, the fictional country home to the Black Panther, was never colonized. So if my king's tongue ain't tainted by European Colonialism, my dish celebrating him is South African (if we really wanted to nerd out, Wakanda is East African… so I should be showing you a traditional Somali or Ethiopian dish, but alas…) instead of Portuguese.
Speaking of Wakanda… lemme hit y'all with one more trailer.
Now, with that all said… the purpose of this blog is to show y'all how to make quick and easy, healthy meals with easily-accessible ingredients. So instead of using fresh African Bird's Eye Chilis, we're using store-bought chili powder… I have failed you, T'Challa… Also, I'm making this in my Cast Iron Skillet, but if you don't have an oven-safe skillet yet (first off, why not? But secondly,) you can start this in a regular frying pan and transfer to an oven-safe dish. Who's ready to get our grub on?!
- 3-5 Cloves of Garlic
- 1/2 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 Tablespoon Paprika
- 2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
- 2 Teaspoons Ginger (I used powder, but you should try fresh ginger too!)
- 1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
- 1/4 Cup Olive Oil (this week, again, I used Breigh's amazing sage-infused olive oil!)
- 1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
- 2-4 Boneless Chicken Breasts (Because I get mine from Costco – #CostcoSponsorTym – I had two large breasts, but if you're using smaller cuts, you'll need more)
- 1-2 Bell Peppers
- 1 Lemon
- 2 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme (Side Note: did you know if you called me Thyme, there's a strong chance I'll punch you in the throat?)
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
1. You Mari-made It! Toss all your marinade ingredients in a food processor and blend it up into a smooth purée. Transfer your marinade to a resealable bag (or reusable container, if you care about the environment… I'm now realizing I used a bag and hate the planet…). Pat dry the chicken breasts with a paper towel and then season with the salt and pepper. Transfer the chicken to the bag/container and make sure they're coated in the marinade. Toss it in the fridge a minimum of 4 hours, overnight works best.
2. Cook It… For the Culture! Preheat the oven to375º. Coarsely chop the peppers and cut 4-6 slices of lemon (You can use the rest of the lemon for roasted veggies as a side dish, btw. I squeezed some juice into my brown rice just before serving); set them aside. Remove the chicken from the marinade and drain the excess off the meat. Save the leftover marinade. Sear all sides the chicken in your skillet over medium-high heat until it's golden. (obviously, hit the skillet with some cooking spray first.)
3. Finish Him. Add your peppers, lemon slices, thyme (which I admittedly forgot… blaming everyone who ever purposely screwed up my name.) and leftover marinade to the skillet. Cover the skillet with parchment paper or aluminum foil and toss it in the oven for about 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Let it rest, covered, for about 5-10 minutes before serving.
And there you have it! I hope y'all make this over the weekend and eat it with friends while discussing how amazing Black Panther was! Hopefully, if you're reading this in the morning, you have enough time to make it for dinner tonight an surprise your loved one with a homecooked meal (instead of going to some packed restaurant, eating some expensive prix fixe dinner). Be sure to share you attempts at this Wakandan (calm down, nerds…) delicacy on all the social medias with the hashtag #CookedByTFW (oooh… #CookedForWakanda?). And – as always – thank me in the morning!