In Portugal, the crescent curls of their spicy chouriço sausages are sliced and blackened over an open alcohol flame, in a tradition called chouriço assado (grilled chouriço). I couldn’t find the right variety of chouriço for this recipe, but a product called chorizo grillers (see, it wasn’t my first choice) was sufficient. When I get hold of a proper Chouriço, I will share with you how to make Chouriço Assado.
Frankly, this griller culture has gone too far. When a fad starts replacing traditional foods to such an extent that if you ask for chouriço you are shown packages of “grillers”, the alarm bells should be ringing because surely the end of the world as we know it is near. (Even frankenfurters, bratwurst, and bockwurst are now sometimes referred to as grillers.) Marketers and grocers have a growing list of sins to answer for.
Even Eskort, the maker of our favorite pork sausages, now offers “smoked cheese grillers.” It seems that nothing is sacred anymore. Why “cheese grillers” can’t find their place okay the other wonderful sausages we value? Why should replace them? Yes, people do buy the grill options if they can’t find what they’re actually looking for, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a demand for something other than ersatz. (A product made or used as a substitute, usually inferior – Oxford).
But anyway, it’s a weeknight family bake, so let’s just do it. Of course, if you can find the real deal, that’s what to use, whether chouriço or chorizo.
3 or 4 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
8 chicken thighs
Olive oil as needed
Chilli oil if needed (I used Banhoek)
1 red onion, quartered
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
Smoked paprika, as needed
Crushed garlic powder if needed
16 small tomatoes, whole or halved
3 or 4 red chillies, seeded and chopped
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
1.5 cups chopped chorizo
1 glass of dry white wine
Salt and pepper to taste
Oregano for garnish
Steam the potatoes for about 10 minutes to cook them. Allow them to cool to room temperature.
Heat the oven to 200℃ or 220℃ (my gas oven prefers higher heat). Rinse and dry the chicken thighs.
In a small bowl, mix 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp crushed garlic powder, salt and pepper. Toss the chicken pieces into this.
Heat the olive oil in a pan, add the hot oil, heat for half a minute and fry the chicken legs on both sides.
In the same bowl, mix together 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp crushed garlic powder and a pinch of salt and pepper, 1 tbsp chili oil, and add the juice and zest of one lemon. Toss the cooled, cooked potatoes into this.
Brush the bottom of a suitable oven dish (with olive oil or chilli or both).
Place thighs scattered with potatoes, red onion slices, chorizo slices, baby tomatoes, garlic slices, and sliced red chili peppers.
Pour in a glass of wine, season with a little more salt and pepper and roast for about an hour or until the chicken is cooked to the bone when a skewer is inserted and the juices run clear.
Pour the liquid into a small saucepan. Place on a moderate heat and reduce for two to three minutes. Remove the remaining fat with a spoon. Dissolve a teaspoon of cornmeal in a little water and stir. Simmer for a minute or two, stirring, until the sauce thickens. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper if necessary. DM
ealong with Tony and friends: Tony Jackman and his Karoo co-stars will to host regular dinners at the Cradock Dining Club at his home in Cradock ffrom December 2023. If you want to book for a future event, get started chat with Tony in [email protected] and we will make a plan. Mmaximum 12 people per dinner.
Tony Jackman is the 2023 Galliova Food Writer, in association with TGIFood columnist Anna Trapido.
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