1.2 kg chicken, butterflied
3 cloves of garlic, peeled, roughly chopped
1 x 2cm piece of ginger, peeled
3 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked
2 long red chillies, roughly chopped (remove seeds to reduce heat, if desired)
2 dried red chillies, rehydrated in warm water, cut in half *Reserve one teaspoon of this liquid
1 tsp liquid from rehydrating the chillis
Juice and ½ the zest of 1 lemon or lime
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
Lemon or lime wedges, to serve
To butterfly chicken, place chicken on chopping board breast side down. Using kitchen scissors, cut down either side of the backbone to remove and discard. Turn chicken over and using the palm of your hand press the chicken down to flatten.
Place the garlic, fresh and dried chilli, ginger, thyme, and lemon zest in a small food processor. Blend until combined and season with salt and pepper.
Add the paprika, vinegar, olive oil, chilli rehydrating liquid and lemon juice. Blitz again for about 1 minute until a smooth paste forms.
Set aside a quarter of the marinade for serving. Rub the remaining marinade all over the chicken, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight. Bring to room temperature before cooking to ensure it cooks evenly.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Preheat a large grill pan or barbeque over high heat. No need to add any oil due to the oil in the marinade.
Place the marinated chicken, skin-side down to start, in the preheated pan and sear all over for 3-4 minutes on each side, until charred. Transfer to a roasting tray, breast side up, then place in the oven, basting regularly, for 35 minutes, or until cooked through (when juices run clear). Set aside to rest for 10 minutes.
Dress the cooked chicken with the remaining marinade and season with salt and pepper.
Serve the peri peri chicken with lemon wedges.