So Jamie Oliver is like cookery marmite… Some people I know loathe him, others laud him as a hero. I don’t enjoy Jamie Oliver bashing. People who attack him remind me of the kind of people who kick puppies and say kittens should be drowned. Yes, he is rather too chirpy and he used to say ‘pukka’ far too much – notably he never says it anymore! – but he also has got so many people into their kitchens and cooking and he cares so passionately about things such as his school dinners and local provenance that he must lie awake at night thinking how he can do good for these things.
His latest idea being the 30 minute meals series. These appear, on further research, to be recipes that have been lurking on his website for a long time but he’s jazzed them up with sides and puddings and sometimes with drinks and he’s squeezed it all into 30 minutes. Now people are beating him around the head with his own branded kitchen implements because they say that they take longer than 30 minutes and that he is a professional chef and his viewers aren’t. Perhaps I am too quick to hit them right back between the eyes with the Jamie Oliver flavour shaker but he says extremely explicitly, at the start of each episode and at the beginning of the accompanying book, that you need to have everything out ready and that you need to use his methods to speed it up. He uses a Magimix for many things that you wouldn’t immediately think of such as cheese grating or onion slicing but then, as he explains, this is what keeps things fast and if you’re not confident at slicing things then this is even easier.
The book and the television series are both brilliant and I’ve been dying to try out some of the recipes since I saw these last summer. Back living at home, I have a willing taste tester in my mother and so I decided to try out the 30 minute Peri Peri Chicken. If you have a Magimix, or the equivalent, this is very straight forward and quick to make. I cut out the sides etc and focused on the chicken which we ate with new potatoes and something green.
The picture, as always, is terrible but you can see that it’s a bright and fresh looking meal!
Jamie Oliver’s 30 Minute Peri Peri Chicken
4 large chicken thighs, skin on and bone in (I used chicken breasts because that’s what we had!)
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt & black pepper
For the piri piri sauce:
1 red onion
4 cloves of garlic
1-2 bird’s-eye chillies
2 tbsp sweet smoked paprika
4 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
A large bunch of fresh basil
1. Get all your ingredients and equipment ready. Turn the oven on to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Put a large griddle pan on a high heat. Put the chicken thighs on a plastic chopping board, skin side down, and slash the meat on each one a few times. Drizzle with olive oil and season, then put on the griddle pan that is heating up, skin side down. Cook until golden underneath, then turn over. Wash your hands.
2. Peel and roughly chop the red onion and add to the liquidizer with four peeled cloves of garlic. Add the chillies (stalks removed), two tablespoons of paprika, the zest of two lemons and juice of one lemon. Add four tablespoons of white wine vinegar, two tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, a good pinch of salt & pepper, the large bunch of basil and a swig of water. Blitz until smooth.
3. Slice the peppers into strips and add to the griddle pan. Turn the heat down to medium and keep moving the peppers around. Pour the piri piri sauce into a snug-fitting roasting tray. Lay the peppers on top and put aside. Add the chicken to the roasting tray with the sauce. Scatter over the sprigs of thyme, then put the tray into the middle of the oven. Cook on the top shelf for around 10 minutes, or until cooked through. To serve, get the tray of chicken out of the oven, sprinkle over a few coriander leaves and take straight to the table.
It was delicious, hot but delicious! Seriously recommended and took far less time than 30 minutes!