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Dundon's Kitchen: Chickens and barbecues make our summer days

Hot stuff: BBQ chicken
Hot stuff: BBQ chicken

This week I am preparing some lovely barbecued chicken that’s just a little bit different.

This barbecue is a great way of cooking for a party. Not only is the barbecue itself a bit of a talking point, but the chicken cooks beautifully moist as the juices run through it and continuously bastes the meat as it twists and turns on the string. 
Be careful to make sure that the chicken and the string are kept well away from the flames, otherwise the outside of the chicken will be charred and the meat will be insufficiently cooked.
If you prefer to cook on a more conventional barbecue, spatchcock the chicken (remove the backbone with a poultry shears and flatten) for quicker cooking.  
It’s also important that there’s a layer of ash on the wood before you commence cooking - this ensures that the barbecue is hot enough to cook on. As with all meats, allow the chicken to rest before carving.
Check that your chicken is well cooked before serving. Pierce the thigh with a skewer - the juices should run clear. If not, pop it into a preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
I like to serve this chicken with a baby potato salad with plenty of fresh herbs, and my Marie rose sauce.
Whole BBQ chicken (Serves 4)
  • 2 tbsp smoked sweet paprika
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 tsp ground cumin 
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 lemon zest 
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 chicken or 4 chicken fillets
  1. Preheat the barbecue to medium or until a good layer of ashes has built on top of the wood. 
  2. In a small bowl, combine the smoked sweet paprika, cumin, coriander, lemon zest, salt and pepper.  Rub onto the chicken and leave aside to marinate for 30 minutes minimum. 
  3. Tie the legs of the chicken with kitchen twine and hang above the barbecue (as per photo). Keep the chicken away from the flame - it should keep twisting and evenly barbecue. Allow two-and-a-half to three hours for barbecuing. Alternatively, roast the chicken in a preheated oven for one hour, turning it every 15 minutes, then finish on a traditional barbecue for 30 minutes to allow the smokiness to infuse.
  4. During barbecuing, baste with leftover rub. To check the chicken is sufficiently cooked,  pierce the thigh with a skewer, the juices should run clear.  Remove from the heat and allow to rest before serving. 
Baby potato salad (Serves 4)
  • 1 kg baby potatoes
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp chives
  • 2 tbsp fresh herbs
  • Salt and pepper
  1. In a large pan of salted water, bring the baby potatoes to the boil and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until just tender, Strain in a colander  and cut the potatoes into bitesize pieces.
  2. In the meantime, prepare the dressing by mixing together the vinegar, lemon juice, shallots and olive oil.  Stir well and season with some salt and pepper.  
  3. While the potatoes are still warm drizzle with the dressing (this will help to infuse the potatoes in the dressing). When cooled, add the herbs and season again.