Grilling And Barbecuing

 

The intense dry heat of both grill and barbecue crisps poultry skin and imparts a unique flavour. Small pieces, joints or whole birds can be cooked this way. For juiciest results, leave them unskinned or marinate before cooking.

GRILLING DRUMSTICKS

The meat of chicken drumsticks is especially suited to the grill or barbecue because it stays moist and tender even when cooked by intense heat. Using an oily marinade prevents the drumsticks from sticking to the rack. Cook slowly until the skin is crisp and golden.

1. Brush drumsticks all over with marinade. You can slash the skin to help the marinade penetrate the meat. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

2. Put the drumsticks on the rack of the grill pan and cook under a hot grill, about 6 cm away from the heat, for 15-20 minutes. Turn and baste frequently.

MARINADES

• For a hot and spicy flavour, mix together crushed chillies, chopped fresh rosemary and garlic, and olive oil.

• Flavour plain, yogurt with Indian curry paste and chopped fresh coriander. For a Thai alternative, use green or red curry paste with the yogurt.

• To create a Mediterranean taste, combine olive oil, crushed garlic, and chopped fresh herbs.

MAKING SATE

Saté are small kebabs made with very lean chicken, meat or fish. Here they are made with succulent chicken breast meat. The secret of making good chicken saté is to wind the chicken on to the sticks and not to overcook it or it will be dry. A simple recipe for chicken saté, using the techniques shown here, is given below.

1. Remove the tendons from the chicken breasts, then cut the flesh into thin slices, working diagonally across the grain. Marinate the strips for 1 hour, preferably overnight.

2. Soak bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes, then drain. Thread the marinated chicken on to the skewers, winding them in a spiral pattern.

3. Cook the chicken under a very hot grill, about 6 cm away from the heat. The chicken will cook very quickly, so do not cook for longer than stated in the recipe. Turn the skewers frequently and brush with the marinade. Serve warm or at room temperature.

CHICKEN SATE

Serves 4-6
4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 small onion, grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
1 tsp turmeric
Peanut sauce, for serving

Slice the chicken into strips across the grain and mix with the onion, garlic, soy sauce, oil, sugar, coriander and turmeric. Cover and leave to marinate in the refrigerator overnight. Thread the strips on to soaked bamboo skewers and grill or barbecue for only 5 minutes, turning them frequently and brushing with the marinade. Serve hot, accompanied by peanut sauce.

BARBECUING A WHOLE BIRD

A kettle barbecue allows you to cook a bird whole. This type of barbecue has a domed lid or hood which closes over the bird, in effect roasting it but with a chargrilled flavour.

1. Season the bird and place, uncovered, on a rack in a roasting tin. Place the tin on the barbecue grid and cover with the kettle lid.

2. Barbecue the chicken until the juices run clear, allowing 1½-1¾ hours for a 2 kg bird. Lift the lid of the barbecue occasionally during cooking, and baste with the juices that have collected in the tin.

BARBECUE TIPS

Outdoor cooking is quick, but requires constant attention. Prepare all your accompaniments in advance.

• Always barbecue outside - charcoal gives off carbon monoxide fumes.

• Light the barbecue at least 30 minutes before cooking and don't put food on it until the flames have died down and the coals have turned grey or are glowing embers.

• For extra flavour, strew the coals with woody herbs, such as rosemary, or fennel stems

• For safety's sake, use long tongs rather than ordinary kitchen forks to turn the food.

GRILLING A BIRD

Grilling or barbecuing is an ideal method for small birds such as poussins because they cook quickly and remain tender and moist. They cook faster when spatchcocked, and have juicier flesh if marinated or their skins rubbed with olive oil and seasonings.

1. Mix together the marinade ingredients of your choice. Put the bird in a non-metallic dish and prick all over with a fork. Pour over the marinade, cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

2. Preheat the grill until very hot. Put the spatchcocked bird, skin-side up, on the rack of the grill pan and grill about 7.5 cm from the heat for 30-40 minutes, turning frequently and occasionally brushing with the marinade.

3. Remove the bird from the rack and place on a cutting board. Remove the hot skewers with the help of a fork and a tea towel. Cut the bird in half lengthwise to serve, allowing one half per person.