The people of Barcelos (in Portugal's northern region of Braga) had been shaken by a crime for which a pilgrim was the prime suspect. He was tried and the judge sentenced him to death by hanging. The pilgrim, insisting on his innocence, asked to be brought again before the judge, who was dining. He requested one last wish and pointing at the roast cock that had been served up to the judge, the pilgrim said: "I swear that I am innocent. When you hang me, this cock is going to crow".
The judge ignored the appeal but just as the noose was tightening around the neck of the pilgrim, the cock raised its head off the plate and crowed loudly. The pilgrim was spared and was sent on his way in peace.
I love this story and it leads me onto one of my favourite Portuguese dishes, very popular with my family - well, the lead/link is the chicken!! There are many ways to serve Chicken Piri-Piri here in Portugal - this is my version. And, it's easy-peasy!
served with a sprinkling of Spring onions and a
'dollop' of sour cream
I use one chicken breast per person (recipe here based on 4 people)
4 chicken breasts, sliced
1 large leek finely chopped
1 chilli pepper, deseeded and finely sliced
1 large red sweet pepper, chopped
4 cloves of crushed garlic
4 or 5 large tomatoes, chopped
A good squeeze of tomato paste
Hot Piri-Piri sauce (to taste)
3 Spring onions chopped
300g plain rice
Olive oil for frying
In a large frying pan, pour about 2 tbsp of olive oil and add the leek, chilli and sweet peppers plus the garlic. Add salt. Fry for 2 or 3 minutes and add the chicken pieces. Let the chicken brown a little and then add the piri-piri sauce to your taste! Some like it HOT!
Add the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste and leave to simmer for about 10 minutes. In the meantime, boil the rice. When the rice is boiled mix it in thoroughly with the meat and vegetables.
Serve with a garnish of chopped spring onions and a generous 'dollop' of sour cream to balance the spicy heat.