Grilled chicken with Thai flavours and sweet & sour sauce


This dinner was cooked up with a pile of things from our home garden. One of the really good things about living in a sub-tropical region is that a whole heap of the ingredients that might be grown and eaten in South East Asia can also be grown here. Also, to complete the experience, children’s plastic dining tables and chairs are available from large retailers and possibly toy stores.

So, the aromats all came from our garden, as did the bok choy.

The chicken came from a super market who assured me it had led a happy and sustainable life. I wish I could say that we had grown and slaughtered the chicken ourselves but that is just not the case. It is something we have certainly done in the past and something I would like to do again, but not this time.

I am cooking the chicken over coals because I find this method to be tasty and certainly pleases my palate. Failing the presence of a grill, or the ability to use it, this chook can be oven roasted at 200 C for a similar amount of time.

This meal also contains a few of my current favourite* garnishes – sticky rice, steamed greens with oyster sauce and a sweet and sour dipping sauce.

So, in conclusion, this is my version of a Thai grilled chicken


GRILLED CHICKEN WITH THAI FLAVOURS AND SWEET & SOUR SAUCE

Serves 4 – 6

1x 1.6 – 1.8 kg chicken, spatchcocked (butterflied, splayed, busted open)
4 cloves garlic
1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, roughly chopped
1 thumb sized piece galangal, roughly chopped
1 thumb sized piece ginger, roughly chopped
3 kafir lime leaves
1 long red chilli, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon castor sugar
Salt and white pepper to season
Coriander and sweet and sour sauce (recipe follows), to serve

Everything except the chicken and salt and pepper can go into a food processor where it can be blitzed into a coarse paste which you shall use to marinate your chicken. You could also use a mortar and pestle for this purpose, as would be the way in the old country.

Massage marinade into the chicken and leave for 30 – 60 minutes for the flavours to really get to know that chook.

Grill chicken over medium-hot coals for 45 or so minutes or until chicken is cooked (you may need to move your chicken away from direct heat if it starts to get a little too crispy or charred). Turn and rotate chicken every 10 – 15 minutes to ensure a fairly even cooking process.

Once chicken is cooked remove from heat and rest for 10 minutes. Chop into pieces with a cleaver and a crazy look in your eye. Season with salt and pepper and serve with sweet and sour sauce and sides of your choosing.

SWEET & SOUR SAUCE

2 – 3 long red chilli
2 cloves garlic
½ cup lime juice
½ cup sugar
1 ½ tbls fish sauce
1 ½ tbls water

Chop chilli and garlic finely. Combine with all other ingredients and stir/whisk until sugar is dissolved.

It is worthy of note that this is also a very nice salad dressing and will keep for 2 weeks in the fridge.

*Yes. My favourites do change. I certainly did no marry into a life of being a “one side only” man.

Smoky chicken wings


Now, I know that I harp on about the same shit on a regular basis – the glory of the cheaper cuts of meats for example – and this little spiel shall be conforming with the norm.

Today it is all about the chicken wing.

These things are the multi-lingual, bisexual, transgender, three-boobied alien who accepts cash, card, food stamps or a prize-winning root vegetable as preferred forms of payment.

You can do so many different things with chicken wings.

These things are about maximizing your dollar to flavour ratio.

These things are a decent meal from your last few bucks.

These things are not chicken breast.

These things will not help you soar like an eagle*.

These things are you feeding the crowd at your next swingers party and looking like you are directly descendant from the holiest of holies him/herself.

This is going to work well in a smoker or kettle BBQ with indirect heat.

The around the rim wing job

Wings and sauces – good times

SMOKY CHICKEN WINGS

As many or as few wings as you think you require
Your favourite chicken rub
Your favourite saucy good times

Fire up your smoker/grill and get the temp up to 160C-ish (320F). Place a couple of small chunks of smoky flavour wood on the coals to make those wings taste extra sexy.
Season wings with a little BBQ rub that makes you happy.
Place the wings on the grill however you see fit… a nice little around-the-rim pattern seems to be quite vogue right now.
The lid goes on.
Let the wings have a little smoky loving; 30-ish minutes for full wings and 20-ish minutes for wing segments, or until cooked. It is totally legit to cut one open and check that they are done though, so don’t be afraid to do that just to be sure.
Give them another little sprinkle with your BBQ rub of choice to freshen up those flavours.
Serve with BBQ sauce and hot sauce and… and… and… yeah, you get it, right?
Once you get these little babies sorted it’s time to start experimenting with different rubs and glazes and sauces and even wood flavours.
Go now, soar like an eagle with the down trodden, funny looking, little chicky wings.

* In fact, if you try to fly from a tall building after eating a bowl of these things, it is almost certain that you will fall to your death. With a little extra cash you could possibly purchase a “herbal wing substitute” that will surely help you fly**.

**Once again, may not actually help you fly.

Smoky grilled chicken


I really do like a good yard bird.

This is a good yardbird type experience.

A smoking hot bronzed bird splayed out in front of you… so moist and ready for the taking… it’s good times.

Euphemisms aside, if they should really ever be put aside, this is some damn tasty bird.

If you can split a whole bird down the backbone you can win this one, because the rest of it is keeping a few coals glowing and you can do that, right? Right?

This isn’t even so much a recipe as it is a little anecdote about what I made for dinner. I feel the time I am spending typing right now would be better spent explaining to you how to butterfly (spatchcock) a bird or even how to make a good chicken stock for the chicken gravy… but you know what? Yeah you know what. You know I am not going to do that because quite frankly, that is just not my style. No, I’m more of a don’t-really-care-about-what-you-reckon, unkept face hair and trucker cap kinda of guy, with maybe a bit of an air of a slight acquired brain injury from one too many stacks on my skateboard when I was younger… or was it from when attempted to form myself into a human snowball while snowboarding last month? Who knows, maybe I’m one of the lucky ones and I scored myself two ABIs… Lucky guy indeed.

Season the bird, inside and out, with your favourite bird seasoning type BBQ rub. I mix a few things together and call it “Big Red Rub”. There is a recipe for it right here. It works for me.

Let the bird hang out in the seasoning for half an hour or so while you get your BBQ fired up.

Get some coals going in your BBQ (pro Q or Weber are the sort of thing you’ll need for this job, or a grill plate over a fire with an old wok over the chicken to keep a little heat in will even do the job. I’m not even joking) exactly like you would normally get some coals going in your BBQ, and get it up to 150C (300F) ish.

Place the chicken skin side up over indirect heat and cover for 1 hour. The chicken should be looking pretty good at this stage… hopefully… I don’t know how I’m going to help you if it isn’t…

Brush the skin of the chicken with a little melted butter or olive oil and then, using two sets of tongs, carefully turn the chicken over, your goal now being to crisp up the skin a little.

The chicken can handle a little direct heat now, but it may need some turning so it doesn’t get “extra crispy” (AKA burnt), so get your comfy chair out, crack another tinny and keep a closer eye on it from here on in. Cook for another 15-20 minutes or until chicken is sexy as and juices from the leg run clear.

Carve it up and drizzle (yes, I know I would normally punch myself in the face for using the word “drizzle”, but I feel it has a place here) with smoked honey to gild the lily. Gilding the lily. Heck yeah, kid!

We served it with roasted carrot and sweet potato, braised kale, cornbread and homemade chicken gravy and I must say, it was damn well delicious.

Herby roast chicken with a really good warm salad and salsa verde


This one is a pretty good looking little dinner that would probably impress that love of your life/person of sexuality of your choosing that you are trying to convince that you would be a good sort to shack up with, and it is still easy enough for some one of your skill-set to put together… maybe… maybe not…

I made this with the love of my life in mind but the fact of the matter is that my Jennee is at work and it is just me and the smallish humans tonight, and let’s face it – they probably would’ve been heaps more impressed if I had made them burgers again.

I didn’t really think this one through properly, did I?

Not to worry.

This certainly wouldn’t be the first time.

No one ever accused me of being a smart man… or good looking… or a good lover even…

Every one always comments that I do have nice hand writing for a boy, though. They’ve always said that. That’s pretty nice, isn’t it?

Getting that salsa verde going. If you have never tried salsa verde before you are about to loose your shit
Salsa verde, apple cider vinaigrette and some other things in jars
A really nice looking chicken about to get a heap of love from the oven
That chook fresh from the chooky solarium
Those salad vegetables getting ready to join the party
It was reals good

HERBY ROAST CHICKEN WITH A PRETTY FUCKING GOOD WARMISH SALAD AND SALSA VERDE

(serves 4 – 6)

1 nicely grown chicken. You know, a chook that got to eat grass and grubs and shit
100g butter
1 handful fresh herbs – thyme, lemon thyme (you should try it), rosemary, sage and parsley, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper
Salsa verde to serve

For the salad
4 medium kipflers or Dutch cream potatoes, boiled or steamed for 15-20 minutes until just cooked, cooled and then sliced into 1cm disks (you could defo use a cooked grain, sweet potato or some extra green vegetables if you don’t do potatoes)
200g green beans, halved
1 small head of broccoli cut into florets or 1 bunch of broccolini cut in half
50g (2 handfuls) leaf and/or herb mix
50g (1 handful) sunflower sprouts or whatever sprouts you can get hold of
2-3 radish, sliced thinly
A good splash of apple cider vinaigrette to dress
Salt and pepper

Rub chicken down with butter. Sprinkle with herbs and season with salt and pepper, ensuring that you put a little in its bot bot* too.
Roast in pre heated 180C (350F) oven for 1 hour or until cooked, basting with sexy-buttery-chickeny juices (I think I just drooled a little) every 15 minutes. Remove chicken from roasting pan and rest in a warm spot, loosely covered in foil for 10-15 minutes.
Add potatoes to oven pan and return to oven for 10 minutes. Add beans and broccoli to oven pan and return to oven for another 5 minutes. Chuck (place gently) all of the roasted vegetables into a large mixing bowl, add apple cider vinaigrette, leaves, sprouts and radish and toss gently until combined.
Now is a pretty good time to carve that chicken. Or, if you’re heaps slow at carving the chicken, maybe get someone else to do that while you sort the salad.
Get a handful of the salad-y stuff onto a plate, put a bit of chicken on the side, dress that chicken with a little salsa verde and eat it the heck in your face.
That’s some damn fine chicken.

*Bot bot; bottom. Anal cavity.

Chicken schnitzel burger and a small chat about nostalgia


As you may or may not know, I am a huge fan of nostalgia.

I especially love food memories. Actually, it’s pretty much just the food memories that I really love.

The meals that my mum and nanna would cook mostly amazed the fuck out of young me… sometimes they didn’t really amaze me heaps (that would be the viciously-boiled-way-past-the-point-of-being-dead Brussels sprouts and the “stir fried vegetables” that would be slowly-braised-way-past-the-point-of-being-dead in the electric frying pan and then have a jar of store bought gelatinous strange looking stir fry sauce added. You can imagine my surprise when I went to Singapore when I was 15 and realised what a stir fry was actually meant to be), but most of the time I truly couldn’t believe how these ladies made things taste so good.

The chicken schnitzel was one such meal.

Chicken that was expertly crumbed (breaded) and then shallow fried in mum’s big* electric frying pan and then served with whatever else mum felt like rustling up. No set recipe, just whatever mum was feeling on the day. It was a classic in our house. When I think about it though, I’m pretty sure anything that was crumbed and fried was immediately lifted to the pedestal of “classic”, and often even granted “food of the gods” status.

Tastes change fo’ sho, but sometimes my face just begs me to let it have a little of those good ol’ times… and of course if my face has been a good boy, I happily oblige. If, on the other hand, my face has been behaving like the foul mouthed little sailor’s spawn, then I shall give it a damn good beati… n… g…

Chicken schnitzel – this time it’s going on a burger (sandwich) because I really like burgers.

Electric frying pan boogaloo.
The chicken schnitzels could’ve been a little smaller I guess…
Two good times.

CHICKEN SCHNITZEL BURGER

(per person)

1x 120-150g chicken breast, hammered out a little and crumbed. Your butcher may be able to do that for you**, if not just do it yourself
1 burger bun, you may buy this from the supermarket if you like. I don’t mind a dirty white death roll for a burger. Just as long as it’s not some kinda sour dough or other artisanal crusty crap that’s going to push the entire contents of the burger out of it’s arse and onto the floor
1 handful of coleslaw, home made or heck, you can even get that from the super market too, you lazy bastard
A splash of hot sauce or BBQ sauce

A squeeze of lemon juice

Salt and pepper

—————————–

Shallow fry schnitzels in a pan over medium heat for 2-3 minutes each side until cooked through.

Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Layer burger buns with chicken, ‘slaw and sauce.
Get that right into your face so that it may smile again ☺

* That electric frying pan always seemed really big, but I realised years later that it was just a normal sized electric frying pan.

** Please do not use those fucked up looking “chicken schnitzels” or “crumbed chicken burgers” you can find in the freezer section at the supermarket

Tasty assed grilled chicken with gochujang and smoked honey

grilled chicken recipe
This was another one of those happen-to-have-a-really-good-looking-chook-on-hand-and-I’m-pretty-keen-to-put-something-on-the-bbq type situations. You know those ones, right?

I also had in my possession a bottle of gochujang – the fermented chilli (red pepper) paste of Korean origins that I had been hearing so much about lately cos I am a fricking ear-to-the-ground kinda guy.

Also in my possession was a flagon of rum. But both you and I know that was going to be used to get those carnies dancing as the evening went on…

Back to that really damn good chicken.

The chicken was bathed in a very simple marinade, containing, if my time learning mathematics at school serves me correctly, no more than 5 or possibly 6 ingredients. You know what that means? Less prep time. You know what that means? Less time in the kitchen. You know what that means? More time enjoying a refreshing beverages and watching those drunken carnies dance… oh, how I love to watch them dance…

I ate chicken… I was left smiling – a big red sticky mess… and this time it couldn’t all be blamed on the beard…

The chicken looked like this at the start but it was so pretty and sticky and red by the end of the cook
The chicken looked like this at the start but it was so pretty and sticky and red by the end of the cook

Just grillin' some really tasty chicken... really tasty chicken
Just grillin’ some really tasty chicken… really tasty chicken

REALLY GOOD GRILLED CHICKEN WITH GOCHUJANG & SMOKED HONEY MARINADE

(Serves however many people you serve with a roast chicken. You could also sub in 2kg of chicken wings for a quicker result and a really fucking tasty little snack during a long night of watching the drunken carnie dancing or even a game of actual sport if that’s what you’re into)

1 whole chook, butterflied or cut into 4. I’m pretty sure your butcher will do that for you
½ cup gochujang
½ cup butter, softened (a little sun shine or 10 seconds in the microwave should look after that for you)
2 tablespoons smoked honey* (straight up honey will also do a very good job here)
1 teaspoon salt
Sliced shallots (scallions) and toasted sesame seeds to serve
Napkins. You defo need napkins for this stuff

• Mix gochujang, butter, honey and salt. Pour the mix over the chicken and let it marinate for an hour or so.
• Whack it on the grill over some gentle coals for approximately one hour, depending on how well you tend your BBQ. Check and turn and baste with the extra saucy goodness every 15 minutes.
• (45minutes in a 180-200C oven will also do the job of cooking your chook)
• Once cooked allow to rest for 10 minutes.
• Serve with extra gochujang if you love that, shallots and sesame seeds

*I found some nice peeps who make smoked honey called Blend Smoked Honey. You can find them right here. It’s well worth a hit. PS I certainly do not get paid for my under-thought opinions… although with this sort of entertainment value I probably should ay… I gotta work on that.

A pretty average pic of a really tasty dish
A pretty average pic of a really tasty dish