As part of my new segment, “Easy shit for Troppo to cook”.

My mate Troppo is a man of simple pleasures. A nice girl, something to eat, snow and some good tunes are a fine beginning to a smiling Troppo.

When venturing into that belly-filling hub of any home, the kitchen, Troppo likes to cook things that are easy and hopefully have a bit of room for error. And if the whole meal can be cooked in one pan even better… If it can be baked in the oven the guy is going to be pretty pleased with himself… And if it contains 5 ingredients or less and still tastes anywhere between OK and good, Troppo is going to be wearing his winning smile… And if there is a naked carnie to eat it off, even better… And then maybe he finds five bucks.

Troppo is also very tall. I mean, I am tall but Troppo is one of those really tall guys who I have to look up to. Relevance to this story? Nil. My care factor? Nil also.

So, as a favour to a jolly stirling old chap and a true friend, I shall see if I can’t use my chef’s brains to conjure up a few decent recipes constructed of five ingredients, or there abouts. And maybe I’ll even share a few gripping tales about my mate Troppo.

On a very relevant note, troppo has been quoted in various highly esteemed society publications as saying “fire is the start of something good” (This is reason alone that I would love this man like a brother), so it was agreed that fire would be the source of heat for the caramelisation of meats that would inevitably become part of our quest for satiation on this fine evening. The “Maillard Reaction” would be our friend tonight!

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All you need for chooky success. The tumeric is the one marked “tumeric”

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Troppo slaps the chicken

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Chicken meets smoky goodness

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Troppo and Jennee. To cool for this shit…

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Looking good ladies

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Chopped up and ready to roll

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You remember how to eat, yeah?

Smoky chooks with tumeric and a couple of other things

With this sort of cooking you are going to have a hard time producing a shit product if you listen to your favourite pirate Uncle (me) and follow a couple of simple rules. 1) Use the best meat your back pocket will allow, and 2) wait until your fire has calmed down a bit and keep your meat to the side so it can hang out for a while a get all smoky and fantastic. Sounds easy? It is!

If you don’t have a fire pit, as I understand a lot of people don’t, don’t be scared to use a BBQ or a medium-high oven.

Almost five ingredients
2 free-range chickens… maybe 1 if you’re not feeding a hoard, butterflied
2 tablespoons tumeric powder, unless it’s been sitting in the back of the cupboard for a year in which case it probably tastes all musty and shitty
5 cloves garlic
1 long red chilli
5 kaffir lime leaves
1 tablespoon palm sugar
• Blitz all ingredients together
• Rub down that bird like the naughty little girl it is. Maybe slap it once or twice too. Now do the same to the other one
• Season with a good splash of fish sauce
• Now grill the chooks on the side of your fire pit for an hour, or two if time is your friend. Cover with banana leaves if you really want to catch that smoky flavour
• We ate these with Asian slaw, nam jim, pickled cucumber salad and a pile of good company

You’re welcome!