Tis the season to be grilling. Well, it’s actually coming to the end in these parts - today it was over 40 degrees! And it’s only spring. Lord help us.
However, in most of the northern hemisphere, men (and women) are wheeling out their trusty, (and often rusty) old BBQ's from the garage or shed. A quick hose down and an overnight soak of the grill in the attempt to remove the remnants of the chicken drumsticks that you cooked 9 months previously.
But who doesn’t rejoice when an invitation to a friend’s BBQ is received? The idea of sitting in a pleasant garden, kids running free, and a glass (or more!!) of Pimms on the go. Epic.
I have especially fond memories of BBQ’s. In a previous blog, I wrote about some of my past food experiences, particularly with my family. My Dad was a wonderful cook, sometimes rather experimental but generally brilliant. When he retired he spent much of his time cooking up all manner of outrageously great dishes, but the BBQ was his favourite. That old BBQ of his wasn’t particularly good quality but I loved it. So much so that when he died, rather than flying out to his home in Spain to settle his affairs and return Mum to the family home, I borrowed a friend’s large car and drove down from London. Just so I could bring that old BBQ home with me.
BBQ-ing is more than grilling meat. Get inspired!
I simply love BBQ's, but even more so, I love hosting them - it’s the one chance I get to cook 4 different types of meats in one sitting, which is unheard of if you were just cooking in the kitchen. Juicy homemade spicy burgers, butterflied leg of lamb with rosemary and garlic, marinated chicken thighs in a sticky honey and chili sauce, and while I’m at it, throw in some lobster tails brushed with herby butter. Yum!
So my rule of hosting a BBQ is simple: don’t be boring. The only thing I dread about attending a BBQ is that the host might grab a bunch of shop-bought burgers, nasty cheap sausages and maybe a pack of chicken drumsticks. Ugh! The list of potential meats, marinades and moreish accompaniments is literally endless - just take your time and plan ahead. And remember that most meats prefer to sit in their saucy marinades for a few hours to really draw in the flavours (you can even start this process the night before!). But if you need a head-start, here's one of my favourite recipes for BBQ chicken:
Soy-Marinated BBQ Chicken
1 large chicken
1 chopped onion
1 bay leaf
1 sliced garlic clove
2 tsp. of powdered ginger
1 Tbsp. runny honey
200ml soy sauce
1 tsp. sweet chili sauce
1 pinch of chili flakes
Salt and pepper
- Heat the oil in a pan and gently sweat off the onion and garlic for 5 minutes on a medium heat.
- Add the ginger and bay and cook for a further few minutes.
- Pour in the soy sauce, chili and the honey and cook for 10 minutes until the sauce starts to reduce. Set aside and cool.
- Take the chicken and cut into 10 parts. (Ideally ask your butcher to do this or you can just buy a pack of chicken legs and thighs.) Season with salt and pepper.
- Marinate the pieces in the sauce for as long as you can. 10 minutes will work but 1 hour is better if you have the time.
- Place each piece onto the BBQ or under a hot grill and cook for roughly 10 minutes on each side, remember to keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn.
- Serve and enjoy our favorite chicken BBQ dish!
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