A few weeks ago I jetted over to England to catch Beyonce’s performance at the V Festival in Hylands Park. And what a show it was, giving new meaning to the term “Thigh meat”.
After the show I was feeling a bit puckish and instead of hitting a pub for a lager and fish and chips, I decided to head over to the local Nando’s in Essex.
Nando’s is a South African chain restaurant with a Portuguese-Mozambique atmosphere that specializes in chicken marinated with the African bird chili pepper known as Pilli Pill, Peri Peri or Piri Piri. Any way you say it, it means pain and pleasure.
There are only a handful of Nando’s in the US, all along the Mid-Atlantic, so whenever I’m in D.C. lobbying Congress for the Coats for Cloned Sheep without Coats industry, I make it a point to stop the Nando’s.
They also sell chicken in pitas, wraps or in the traditional Portuguese dish called Cataplana, a chicken and rice dish served in a copper pot.
For a look at the world of Nando’s and Beyonce, check out the list.
Comida feliz everbody.
Nando’s, the story
Nando’s humbly began as a take-out food stand in the mining towns of Southern Africa, south of Johannesburg. The region became known as Chickenland and as their popularity grew, Nando’s evolved in to a casual dining chain that stayed true to its Portuguese and Mozambique influences.
The marinade and the cooking method at Nando’s is simple yet off the charts taste wise.
Basic Nando’s Chicken Marinade
½ Cup Smoked Paprika
3 Tbs. (Or more) Dried Pili Pili Powder
1 Cup Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
3 Cloves Garlic, Smashed & Minced
2 Tsp. Fresh Ginger, Chopped
1 Tsp. South African Sea Salt
Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl; add chicken, cover and let stand overnight in the fridge.
Grill over an open flame, basting often until chicken is done.
Beyonce working off the Nando’s
After the concert, apparently Beyonce had the munchies as well. She called in a take-out order for the band and her entourage to take back to the hotel. The tab was hefty, around 2 grand US and included 48 whole chickens, 58 wing platters, 12 veggie burgers, 24 Cataplanas and 1,700 Diet Cokes.