Our resident cooking pro Jeff Bantam loves chickens.
After spending years as a chef in a gastro pub, toiling over a hot grill and making food that he had little passion for, Jeff decided to jack-in his job and find a new way of making a living. After starting up a cleaning business in 2011 (search The BBQ Cleaner for more info on that), Jeff found a new lease of life as a travelling BBQ cleaner, driving around his county scrubbing BBQs and offering sage cooking advice to his customers.
With the money that he saved from his new business, Jeff was able to invest in his own chickens, so he was soon able to spend his weekdays cleaning BBQs and his weekend barbecuing his favourite food! With summer fast approaching, this is the perfect time to dust off your own BBQ and invest in a few recipes that you can bring fresh life to your barbecued chicken dishes.
Jeff was kind enough to supply us with a recipe that he rates as sure-fire chicken dinner winners:
Barbecued Thai-style Spatchcock Chickens
Grilling a whole chicken can be an intimidating task if you’ve not done it before and the fear of undercooking the bird is a justified one. Still, if you invest in good coal and have the right lidded BBQ, there’s no reason to be worried! This recipe incorporates authentic Thai flavours, you’ll need a metal skewer to be able to cook the chicken properly.
What you’ll need: A good-sized chicken spatchcocked (1.5kg)/3 lemongrass stalks/1tsp peppercorns/8 garlic cloves/handful of coriander stalks/1 lime/3 tbsp Thai fish sauce/2 tbsp brown sugar
What to do:
You’ll need to marinate the chicken over-night to trap the most flavour. To make the marinade crush the peppercorns along with the garlic cloves. Throw in the coriander stalks and 2 sticks of lemongrass and then bash into a paste.
Finally, stir in the lime juice, fish sauce and sugar, then combine. Using your metal skewer, penetrate the chicken through leg and beast on either side, then insert the final lemongrass into the hole you’ve made. Sit your bird in a dish and cover in the marinade, make sure the chicken is properly coated. Cover and marinate overnight (if possible).
Remove your chicken from the fridge an hour before you’re ready to cook. Fire up a lidded barbecue with coals on one half and a foil drip tray on the other. Once the coals are hot, lay your chicken bone-side down over the foil tray side with the legs closes to the heat. Cover with the vents open and then cook the chicken for just under an hour.
After the bird has reached a temperature of 70C (or over), muddle the coals for more flames and the (carefully!) flip the chicken with tongs to allow it brown on the other side. Once the bird is up to 75C remove from the heat onto a board and rest for 10 mins before carving up!