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Although officially over in this part of the world, summer has decided to hang around just a little longer. Mind you I’m not talking about the bad summer, you know the summer where it reaches 40 something degrees and walking from the bedroom to the coffee machine results in

a pile of sweat dripping from your face? Yeah no, nobody enjoys that. I’m talking about the mildly warm low to mid 30’s, long evenings, cool breezes in the air, orange skies, cold beers and most importantly (ok second most important, beer is always first) delicious summer food. You see on those unbearable sweaty days the last thing you feel like doing is firing up the oven or standing over a hot stove, but at the same time summer is perfect for entertaining friends and family that is why these days are the perfect summer days… Ok that’s enough about the weather, I’ll leave the rest to the weathermen and women of this world, it’s time for me to whine how busy I’ve been… Skip to the recipe it’s worth it I promise.

It is safe to say this month has been particularly crazy, you know the sort of month there are not enough hours in the day? Just when you think you have a spare five minutes up your sleeve, you discover Max has completely destroyed the wires that control the retic…. that spare 5 minutes then turns into finding a spare halve a day to rip up the entire back yard to fix them…. Who needs to sleep anyway right? Coffee was discovered for a reason, embrace it. Don’t worry there is in fact a purpose to this rambling, no matter how busy life gets, always make time for good food. Ok so that’s not really a quote for the record book, but do yourself a favour, make the time and enjoy it. You need at the very least 3 meals a day, over a year that’s 1092 meals. Why eat bad food? Learn to cook, burn the food, set of smoke alarms, fail, adjust and try again. Buy yourself a cook book (ok no need to take it to the extreme like some/me) master the basics and concur the world! Now where was I going with this? I seem to have got stuck on a tangent about changing the world… my bad. Let’s continue shall we?

Now I’ve covered the fact summer is over but not, food is amazing and everyone should learn to cook… Let’s talk about Mexican food! Why you ask? Well because I have an obsession as many of you probably already know. I don’t know why I’m so obsessed… actually that’s a lie, know exactly why, go out there and find some real Mexican (I’m sorry Old El Paso doesn’t count as real, but it is tasty) then you will know why! Having never been to Mexico, I can only imagine what it is like there, and there is a good chance that what I’m thinking is completely wrong. But the flavours and seemingly simple food goes hand in hand with hot weather. That is why I took an hour out of my day one weekend to experiment with this wanna be Mexican Chicken. I saw a Thai inspired recipe for roast chicken and thought why does it always have to be Thai (not that I have anything against Thai!) Why not Mexican? So I decided to adapt the recipe for a Mexican inspired chicken, change things up and was pleasantly surprised by the outcome. Clean off the patio table, chill the beers, crank the music (I suggest the sound track to Chef) and forget about the troubles of the World!

Serves 6


Summery Mexican Chicken with Mango Salsa

3 hr, 10 Total Time

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  • 1 bunch of coriander
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large jalanpeno, roughly diced
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 limes, juice and zest
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mexican chill powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 whole chicken, jointed into 6 parts
  • 1 large mango, diced
  • 2 spring onions, diced
  • 1 jalanpeno, diced
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 1 good pinch of salt
  • 1 handful coriander leaves, roughly chopped

Now What?

  1. Combine the stalks from the coriander, garlic, jalanpeno, salt, lime zest, juice, cumin and mexican chili powder into a mortar and pestle (use a food processor if you want to cheat or if you're in a hurry) and bash away until it begins to look like a paste. Add the oil and mix well.
  2. After you have jointed the chicken, rub all over with the paste you just made, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or if you are organised overnight.
  3. To make the mango salsa, combine all the ingredients into a bowl and set aside. Do this about an hour before you want to eat. It will give the flavours a chance to get to know one another and make friends.
  4. When you are just ready to eat, preheat the oven to 200'c then cook these bad boys for about 40minutes, turning once after 20 minutes. Let the chicken rest (it's hard work being cooked!) for about 10 minutes.
  5. Serve the chicken with the mango salsa, more coriander leaves and your favourite hot sauce. For best results wash down with ice cold beer with a slice of lime... lemons are so last year.
  6. Enjoy


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