African Spice Paste

8 08 2011

This is a spice paste made in Africa using a pepper called Peri-Peri (origin is actually Portuguese), that can be found in a few stores locally in Kansas City, but easily available on the internet.  This recipe is for Chicken Breasts, but is easily adapted to Pork Chops or even Steak.  Use a mortar and pestle to grind the seeds (just makes you feel like you are part of the tradition – a spice grinder works just as well).

Ingredients:

8 Peri-Peri Peppers, Dried (the only way you can find them here)

 2 tablespoons coriander seeds

 1 tablespoon cumin seeds

 1 tablespoon caraway seeds

 2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic

 1 tablespoon black peppercorns

 2 teaspoons sea salt

 5 tablespoons olive oil

 4 large chicken breast halves (or equivalent pork or beef)

1 12- by 12- by 3-inch disposable aluminum roasting pan.

Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking with medium-hot charcoal. Coarsely grind chiles, spice seeds, garlic, and peppercorns in mortar and pestle, then stir together with salt and oil in a bowl to form a spice paste. Rub paste all over meat.  Oil grill rack, then grill meat ( skin sides down first if using chicken) over coals, turning over occasionally and moving around if flare-ups occur, until browned, 4 to 5 minutes total. Move meat to area with no coals underneath, arranging  so that thicker sides are closest to coals, then cover with inverted roasting pan and grill, turning  over once, until just cooked through, 15 to 17 minutes. Transfer to a platter and let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 4

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