“We’ve taken cachaça, the sugar cane spirit you get in your caipirinha cocktails, and used it to marinate a chicken. With nutty cassava chips on the side, it’s the ultimate South American take on your Sunday roast. ”
Pick the mint leaves, keeping the stalks for later, then place in a food processor with half of the coriander (stalks and all) and the chilli flakes. Peel and roughly chop the garlic, then trim and roughly chop the spring onions and tip them in too.
Blitz until finely chopped and season to taste with sea salt and black pepper. Add the cachaça and two tablespoons of oil, then pulse into a thick paste, adding a little more oil if necessary.
Slash the chicken thighs with a small, sharp knife and place the bird in a large, deep bowl. Spoon over the herby cachaça paste and rub it into the cuts in the chicken and under the skin, massaging it in well. You can cook the chicken straight away, but it’ll be even better left covered in the fridge for a few hours, or overnight.
When ready to cook the chicken, preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5.
Place the chicken on a roasting tray with the whole unpeeled shallots and spoon over any paste that has slipped off. Cover with tin foil and pop in the oven.
After 30 minutes, remove the foil, drizzle with a little oil, and roast for a further 45 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.
Meanwhile, prepare the chips. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and add the cassava chunks for 15 minutes, then drain and leave to steam dry.
Slice them into chunky chips, place in a large roasting tray and sprinkle over the oregano and cumin seeds. Season well and drizzle with oil.
Toss everything together, then roast for around 45 minutes, or until the chips are crisp and golden, tossing them halfway.
Make a salsa by halving, deseeding and finely slicing the chilli. Finely chop the remaining coriander stalks. Halve the tomatoes, scoop out and discard the seeds and finely chop everything together, squeezing over the juice of 1 lime, then season to taste.
When both the chicken and cassava chips are ready, cut the remaining limes into wedges, squeeze over the chips and serve alongside the roast chicken, shallots and salsa, with the reserved coriander leaves scattered on top.