Piri-Piri Chicken with Bart's Spice Blend

Centuries back the spice trade was one of the most financially rewarding of all businesses. Countries fought to secure routes which led to spices. In these days Portugal was a powerful nation whose empire span three continents. Chilli, coriander, cumin, all the flavours we take for granted were then newly discovered. 
In Lisbon, the period starting in the 15th century with the creation of trade posts in Africa and which reached its peak hundred years later with the discovery of Brazil by Vasco de Gama is commemorated by a tall momunent.
Shaped like a caravel with on board all the men who contributed to the country's expansion, the monument of discoveries stands proud over a map of the world as it used to be then. Fortunes were made, lives were lost and European cuisine would never taste the same.
So spices had started their voyages too, take piri-piri, a small chilli pepper brought back from the Americas on Columbus' voyage made its way to the Portuguese colonies in Africa and later on, to Goa.

Chicken Piri-Piri, a dish we know as a Portuguese recipe didn't originate from Portugal, nor is it only piri-piri chillies, like with curry (the spice), it's a blend. Now, blends are a bit tricky as they very much depend on the person blending.

Luckily, at Pebble Soup HQ we like spices so much that we were generously offered the new range of Bart's blends "Journeys of discovery" which starts with Portugal and piri-piri. It's a dry rub which contains a blend of hot chillies and Paprika, Red Bell Pepper, Garlic, Lemon Peel, cumin and coriander.

Chicken Piri-Piri. The recipe It doesn't get easier than that.
rub the blend on chicken legs, left the dish to marinate for a couple of hours, drizzled a little oil before baking in the oven for 30 minutes with a little bit of water for the legs not to catch.

When in Lisbon don't to miss PASTEIS DE BELEM (Rua de Belém, 84-92)  it might be a cliché but there is good reason why: there custard pies are out of this world.

Next stop Tunisia and Harissa, however before we get there, Pebble Soup is going to be much more spicy, next month.... 

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