Piri Piri Chicken
with roasted parsnips / romaine salad
Portuguese-style "Piri Piri" gets its name from the spicy bell pepper sauce that coats chicken before it is grilled or roasted. The savory flavor of the sauce deepens as it cooks, but we love the contrast that comes from serving a bit of the uncooked, fresh Piri Piri sauce alongside the finished dish.
- Garlic - 1 clove , peeled
- Shallots - 1 bulb , peeled
- Roasted red peppers (16 oz / 454 g) - 3/4 jar , drained and rinsed
- Paprika, smoked - 2 tsp
- Salt - 1 tsp
- Oregano, dried - 1/2 tsp
- Red pepper flakes (opt) - 1/2 tsp
- Vinegar, red wine - 1 tsp
- Lemon juice - 1 tsp
- Lemon zest - 1 tsp
- Chicken thighs, boneless and skinless - 4
- Parsnips - 1 1/2 lbs , peeled and chopped
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Lettuce, romaine - 2 hearts , chopped
- Green onions - 1 stalk , thinly sliced
- Mustard, Dijon - 2 tsp
- Lemon juice - 3 tsp
- Honey - 1 tsp
- Paprika, smoked - 1/4 tsp
- Oil, olive - 2 Tbsp
- Avocados - 1 , chopped
Make Piri Piri Sauce - Peel garlic and shallots. Drain and rinse bell peppers. Combine garlic, shallots, bell peppers, paprika (the portion for the chicken), salt, oregano, red pepper flakes, vinegar and lemon zest and juice (the portion for the chicken) in the bowl of a food processor. Blend until smooth (add water a bit at a time if needed to help it come together). (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Chicken - Combine chicken with Piri Piri Sauce. Marinate for at least 20 minutes and up to a day. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
Parsnips / Lettuce / Green onions - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
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Preheat oven to 425F / 218C degrees. Coat a sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray or brush with some oil. (Note: If making more than 4 servings, you may need two sheet pans to hold the vegetables and chicken.) Position oven rack in the middle of the oven.
Spread parsnips on sheet pan and drizzle with cooking oil. Season with some salt and pepper. Roast in the top rack of your oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until parsnips are starting to soften.
Remove sheet pan from oven and give parsnips a stir. Place chicken (including Piri Piri Sauce) in a single layer on top of parsnips. Bake until parsnips are tender and chicken reaches 165F / 74C degrees, 15 to 25 minutes.
While chicken roasts, whisk together mustard, lemon juice (the portion for the salad), honey, paprika (the portion for the salad) and olive oil. Chop avocados. Just before serving, toss lettuce, green onions and avocados together with dressig.
Serve chicken and parsnips with salad on the side. Enjoy!