England may be out of the World Cup, but there’s still lots of excuses to throw a football party. For people who enjoy a cooking challenge, it presents opportunities to burrow through the regional cookbooks and get inspired. Will you serve the Nigerian jollof rice? German Bratwurst? Australian shrimp? Ghanaian fufu?
Here’s a pair of great Latin-flavoured dishes in celebration of Argentina and Spain. First up is a butterflied chicken breast bursting with vibrant lemon and garlic, partnered with a herby, sharp chimichurri sauce. And as a foil for for that, some fiery patatas bravas made with Britain’s best Jersey Royals.
These dishes scale up really well for a party, football-flavoured or otherwise: the chicken is a breast per person, and I make mine on a George Foreman grill so there’s always a couple on the go. You can make miles of the chimichurri sauce and leave it out for people to help themselves. And you can make a big vat of patatas bravas which is perfectly good at room temperature.
The brining stage for the chicken isn’t essential; but it does help keep the chicken marvellously moist and is another stage at which you can add layers of flavour.
Want more football-themed party food ideas? Check out Waitrose’s page here. My recipes are inspired by theirs:
- Water mixed with 8% salt
- 2 tablespoons golden syrup
- 10 or so black peppercorns
- 1 star anise
- 4 skinless chicken breast fillets
- 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 red onion, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Pinch of chilli flakes
- 25g flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- 15g oregano, roughly chopped
- 750g Jersey Royal Potatoes, halved
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 190g chorizo, diced
- 6 tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Squeeze of lemon juice
- 25g flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- Combine the brine ingredients and leave the chicken brining for 6 hours. Drain and pat dry when ready.
- For the chimichurri sauce, bash all the ingredients together in a pestle and mortar. Set aside, seasoning with a little salt and a good grinding of black pepper, adding a little olive oil to bring together.
- Cook the potatoes in a large pan of boiling water for 15 minutes until tender. Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, heat the oil and cook the onion and chorizo together for 10 minutes. Drain the potatoes and add to the pan with the chorizo and cook for a further 10 minutes.
- Place the chicken on clingfilm over a chopping board and slice through each fillet horizontally, making sure not to cut all the way through, then open out. Add another layer of clingfilm and bash lightly with a rolling pin to flatten further. Scatter over the garlic, paprika, lemon zest then rub in with a little olive oil and salt & pepper.
- Grill, barbecue or fry your chicken until thoroughly cooked through. Back at your potatoes, add the tomatoes, chilli and paprika and cook for a further 5 minutes. Squeeze over lemon juice and scatter over parsley.
Waitrose compensated me for this post and gave me some party stuff to play with.