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.

Barbequed Chicken with Thai Flavours… and tales from the wagon


With this cleanse looming, I was smart enough to stash a few posts in the shadows so I had a bit of ammunition while my boozy, culinary rifle was shooting blanks. Me smart boy. I could bore the absolute shit out of you with photos of the various fruit I eat each day and the incoherent ramblings of the man who is in need of a good stiff fu… er, drink, but as I happen to enjoy your company (don’t be distressed, I didn’t think that would ever happen either but happen it did… I… think… I… love… you. There, I said it.) I feel I should try and make it a little more entertaining then that. Besides, I really don’t want to be seeing myself on now do I?

I am on the wagon. No, not a cute little wooden wagon, adorned with trinkets and brightly coloured felt. This wagon is not pulled from town to town by four of the toughest little carnies in these parts so I may sell my wares. This wagon is way more serious than that. Yes my friends, this is “THE wagon”.

Do you know what the best thing about not drinking is? Nothing. Do you know what the second best thing about not drinking is? You feel more spritely, excitable and spirited in the mind in general, and morning headaches are nothing but a vague memory.

Would you like to know the worst thing about being on the wagon? Every person you know will offer you a drink at some stage or the other. “Feel like a beer mate?” they will say. “Feel like a beer?” I reply, repeating the question back to them just so I can hear it again and make sure I have it correct. “Of course I feel like a fucking beer you cock. You have one in your hand, why shouldn’t I have one in mine?”

Even if they don’t actually offer you a drink they will do the next worst thing possible. They will say something along the lines of “you probably won’t be having a drink after work, will you?”

“WILL I WHAT?” I say. “ARE YOU FUCKING SIMPLE? I just spent the last minute or so explaining that I will not be entertaining that little bearded, filthy mouthed, sailor-type inside me who likes to indulge in the sampling of alcoholic beverages. So no. No I will not be having a beer after work. Fuck.”

Want to know something else really funny. I’m off the fatty meaty tasty foods and cigarettes too. Hell of a week…

Direct results of the embracing of a healthier lifestyle

What does this mean? Well, I am possibly a little more annoying to Jennee (or anyone else in my general vicinity) when I get up in the morning. Not trying to get her knickers off or anything fun like that, it’s just that I normally greet the early morn with open arms. I wake and I pull it (settle down kiddos. Finish the sentence) close to my hairless chest and we laugh at the day. We laugh about all of the people who wake and look like a disheveled old man who is walking to the local deli in his slippers and pin striped pyjamas; Um. Huh? Huh? Urgh. Oh how we laugh.

Jennee is one of those people. She has issues dealing with me at the best of times but in the a.m, before a coffee, while I am not on the drink… she doesn’t stand a chance. And I’ll share something else with you; when she’s not awake in the morning I contemplate whether I should “accidently” poke one of my children as they sleep to see if they could be encouraged to wake up and talk to me. Though I feel these thoughts may be a little wayward of “the Responsible and Nice Parent Charter” thus have not become reality… yet…

That’s about it.

I do feel healthier and I really don’t have a huge issue with not drinking at the moment, even the constant of rice and vegetables for dinner is something that I find quite appealing (it is reminiscent of the time I was head chef at a Thai restaurant. Rice with condiments was dinner for us every night of the week)… but we’ll see when the weekend comes… I think I need to re-assess how this cleanse is going to work. Maybe I should start by not calling it a cleanse any more and just lay off the booze mostly… yeah, that’s a good start.

Anyway, enough waa-waa and whatever from me. It’s starting to sound like around here.

I’m just lucky I saved up a few posts of some food you may genuinely want to eat while I eat not much at all! All over that shit like fast growing mould on the petri dish.

Pound this stuff up
Pound this stuff up
Rub it on the chicken, let it marinate for a bit and then get it on the grill
Rub it on the chicken, let it marinate for a bit and then get it on the grill
Leave it on said grill until it is cooked
Leave it on said grill until it is cooked
Get it on the table with a heap of other tasty things
Get it on the table with a heap of other tasty things
Put a bit of everything in a bowl and then eat it in your face
Put a bit of everything in a bowl and then eat it in your face

1 free-range chook, cut in half down the breast bone and spine
½ small brown onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 thumb sized knob – check your boyfriend… no I meant 1 thumb sized knob of galangal, sliced
2 stalks lemongrass, white part only, sliced
3 kaffir lime leaves
2 dried long red chilli, same scenario as always, more if you like it hot
1 teaspoon palm sugar or castor is fine
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 fire
fresh lime and a range of Thai sides to serve
• Bash the hell out of everything, except the chicken and the fire, with a mortar and pestle or in a food processor. A coarse paste is good
• Rub that paste all over the chicken like you want it
• Let that chicken sit in the fridge for at least an hour while you get your fire started. Note; this fire may be your oven if that’s all you have. 180C or so should do the trick
• Grill over the quiet part of the fire for 45 minutes or until cooked, turning every 15 or so
• Smokey, chicken-y, tasty goodness
• Serve with a heap of Thai side dishes; start with rice, fresh lime, green papaya salad, pickled cucumber, chilli in fish sauce, crisp eshallots, more chilli condiments and whatever else you need