Food Blog | Cooking Blog
For tender, moist, flavoursome chicken, char grilling is an unbeatable method of cooking. Once you have mastered the barbecue or griddle pan, you will never want to look back. I use thighs, legs, breasts - whatever is available - char grilling works for everything. However, what is most important for achieving a powerful and fragrant taste to your chicken is leaving it to marinate before cooking. If you want something oriental, go for a soya sauce-ginger-garlic-chilli combo, or if you are after something indian, go for olive oil-tumeric-cumin... Whatever you fancy. The important thing is to allow the chicken to swim around in the marinade for as long as possible, basting it and tucking the juices under the skin in all of the nooks and crannies. This recipe is a personal favourite; I have to confess, I make it embarrassingly frequently. The honey makes the skin crispy and sticky and the rosemary and garlic gives it a fantastic aroma. Best of all, the ingredients are store cupboard staples, so it can always be relied upon as a guaranteed impressor - even if you haven't done a big food shop!
chicken cuts of your choice
250 ml olive oil
3 tbsp. soya sauce
4 tbsp. honey
2 tsp. grainy mustard
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
4 cloves of garlic (crushed)
2 tsp. agave syrup (or caster sugar)
1 tsp. sea salt
generous grinding of white pepper
springs from 3 branches of rosemary (about 150 g)
toasted almonds (optional)
Combine the ingredients for the marinade. Lay the pieces of chicken out in a tray, or put them all in a large mixing bowl and cover with the marinade. Use your hands to ensure that each piece is thoroughly coated, tucking the liquid behind flaps of skin and in any of the poultry's grooves. Cover in cling film and refrigerate for at least an hour, tossing the chicken every 15 minutes or so with your hands.
If you are using a griddle pan, heat a glug of olive oil in the pan - on the barbecue, just make sure that the grill is hot - before adding the chicken. Grill for 8-9 minutes on each side (depending on the thickness of the chicken; fillets and small breasts may cook faster). Use a paintbrush to continue coating the chicken with the marinade until the skin begins to crisp. A good way of determining whether the chicken is cooked through is pressing lightly with a fork: if the meat is tough and resistant, it is ready. If you are unsure, make an incision with a sharp knife in to one of the thicker chunks. Don't over cook it - nobody likes a dry chicken.
Remove from the grill and serve warm or at room temperature if you are going for a salad-y vibe. Sprinkle with a few spears of fresh rosemary for a boost of colour and crunch, and lay on the toasted almonds (optional).
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