A CLASSIC SOUTH AFRICAN CASSEROLE - BOBOTIE, REINVENTED: PERI PERI STYLE
Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love Nando's PERi PERi sauces. The sauce bottles is always a must-have at home, because I use it like water and at every meal (even breakfast!)
When I came across Nando's Canada's PERi-PERi Challenge last year, I knew I could not pass up the opportunity to take part. When I received an email back, I was excited that I tried and was one of the lucky winners.
All we had to do is find our "sauce of inspiration" and create a recipe using any of Nando's PERi-PERi sauces, for the chance to win the Ultimate at-home PERi-PERi kit. Prizes included a personalized Nando's PERi-PERi sauce bottle, an indoor grill machine, wooden utensils and more.
You can find the recipe I submitted below. Try it for yourself! It turned out to be so delicious and by researching more about this dish, I learned that Bobotie is the national dish of South Africa. It is traditionally made with curry-flavored minced meat, egg and a milk-based layer. But I decided to add my own twist to it to reflect what Nando's is about.
Total time: 1 1/2 hours (approximately)
Nando’s Peri Peri Sauces (of your choice - or you can also mix it up; I used the garlic & medium sauces)
3 slices of bread
1 cup + ½ cup milk, divided
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
5 tablespoons Peri Peri Sauce of your choice (here I used the medium)
½ herbes de provence
½ lemon powder & dry lime powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 ½ pound chicken breast, cut in cubes
1 teaspoon honey
1 ½ tablespoon apricot jam
4 teaspoons tomato paste
salt and pepper
4 bay leaves
For the chicken:
Wash 1 ½ pounds of chicken breast and cut into cubes (not too small)
Mix the chicken with Nando’s peri peri sauce of choice (I used the medium sauce; about 3 tablespoons), add 2 teaspoons of paprika and sprinkle wiith pepper to taste
Cover and let it marinate for a minimum of 2 hours in the fridge (the longer, the tastier - maximum of 24 hours!)
Heat your trying pan for 2 minutes over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and place the chicken in the pan. Cook for 10-12 minutes on each side. Set aside in another bowl and let cool.
For the casserole:
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Soak all 3 slices of bread in 1 1/2 cup of milk.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a wide skillet or a copper pan (anything that you can use to put in the oven afterwards) set over medium heat.
Once the oil is hot, add the onions, and cook until soft.
Add 5 tablespoons of the Nando’s Peri Peri sauce of your choice (you may modify the quantity as you go, depending on your spice level)
Add in the herbes de provence, basil, oregano, lemon powder, dry lime powder, cumin, turmeric and garlic powder, and stir until everything is mixed.
Add the chicken, and cook, stirring frequently to ensure everything is well mixed together.
After 3-5 minutes (or once chicken is well mixed), move the skillet from the heat, and stir in the honey, apricot jam, tomato paste. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Tear the bread into small pieces and add it evenly to the mixture you’ve prepared. Then, pour the milk in the pan/skillet.
Beat in the eggs and pour it on your mixture. Scatter the bay leaves on top to decorate.
Bake, uncovered, at 350°F for 45 minutes, or until golden brown.
Drizzle with some Peri Peri sauce of choice & enjoy with a side of bread or rice.
Note: for the herbs, you can use a mix of whatever herbs you like, it doesn’t necessarily have to be herbes de provence, basil and oregano - that is just the mix I wanted to work with. Additionally, it is more convenient to use pre-cooked Peri chicken for the dish, but if you decide to use chicken (marinated in Peri sauces), ensure the chicken is well cooked (at step 7-8), before proceeding to the next steps.