The Island of Madeira - the home of my husband's family. The birthplace of rustic Portuguese home cooking, close family ties and endless celebrations. On my of my many holidays spent there, I realised that I would never tire of the perfume of blossoms bursting from every corner of the island....in fact it would be impossible to pin point any particular perfume of flower. The array is endless and how does anyone explain the variety of orchids found in the quaintest of gardens to flower markets in Funchal?
If that does not delight the senses, then the aroma of food spilling out from homes and restaurants are more than enough to entice any fussy eater. The food is lovingly prepared, usually by family owned restaurants. Freshly garden picked tomatoes and lettuce with lashings of olive oil and vinegar, delight the senses. And the food is endless.
My late mother-in-law, Alegria, was a hard working woman, selling Madeira embroidery and ran a successful catering business from home. She catered mostly for weddings and was firmly booked for the doctors annual Christmas party each year. Their one request was her original recipe of peri-peri chicken, which she kept closely guarded, only to be shared with her son and myself, and which will now be shared with you.
The view from our window, The Madeira Palace Hotel.
Members of my husband's family own a flower market in Funchal. Need I say what a delight it was to visit them and walk out with a bouquet of beautiful flowers as a gift?
Alegria, my late moter-in-law, standing in the middle of a bridal couple whom she assisted in every form on their magical day. That included dressing the bride to table settings, decor and food. May she Rest in Peace.
Flowers given to me from Basil in the Flower Market, of Funchal. I must say, it did add some sparkle to my day as we were celebrating Saint Valentines Day with his family. The exhaustion on my face, reflected a harrowing occasion of my mother-in-law's passing away. With only two weeks to spare, we had to bury her, pack her entire house, store some stuff, sell others and donated others. That included a chest deep freezer packed with meat, home made ice cream and containers of biscuits. We barely slept.....
A recipe created by my mother-in-law and kept as a closely guarded secret.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 60 minutes
1 Whole Chicken, cleaned and cut into portions
4 Cloves of garlic, crushed
1/4 Teaspoon of peri-peri powder
1 Teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 Teaspoon mustard powder
2 Bay leaves
60g Butter to fry
62ml Olive oil
1 Large onion chopped
2 Tablespoons Tomato Ketchup
1 Chicken stock cube
1/2 Cup dry white wine
1/4 Cup water
Salt to taste
METHOD FOR MARINADE.
1) Blend together, garlic, peri-peri powder, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and Bay Leaves.
2) Rub the paste onto the chicken portions, place in a bowl, cover with a lid and allow to marinade in fridge for four hours.
1) In a large frying pan, heat the butter. Remove the chicken portions from the bowl and fry until golden brown. Reserve what little marinade is left.
2) In a separate frying pan, heat the oil and fry the chopped onion over medium heat for ten minutes.
3) Add Ketchup, chicken stock cube and fried chicken. Stir fry this for a few minutes, until the chicken portions are coated with the sauce. Now add the wine, water and left over marinade, with salt to taste. Stir until well blended.
4) Cover pan with a lid and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. This is usually served with fried chips and a salad. Enjoy!
1 Lettuce washed and torn into pieces
4 Tomatoes cut into quaters
2 Carrots, grated.
1 Onion, sliced into rings
Black olives to garnish
2 Hard boiled eggs, cut in half
30 ml Olive oil
1/4 Cup Vinegar
1) Arrange lettuce leaves on a platter and place tomato wedges on top.
2) In the centre of the tomatoes, place the grated carrots
3) Garnish with onion rings, black olives and eggs.
4) Serve olive oil and vingegar separately with the salad.