Bill Granger recipes: Our chef suggests a trio of chicken barbecue recipes that really sing

Chicken is the staple weekday meat at Bill Granger's house

Bill Granger
Friday 07 August 2015 20:18 BST
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Miso and ginger chicken drumsticks with sesame slaw
Miso and ginger chicken drumsticks with sesame slaw

Who doesn't love a big Sunday barbecue with a joyous selection of meats, seafood and salads, all washed down with chilled beers and carefree conversation? Having said that, I'm also a big fan of the weekday barbecue. Less of a show-off, the weekday barbecue is simply a family meal that you cook and eat outside. Easy. No hours of preparation or excessive amounts of testosterone needed… If you have a gas barbecue, it asks for no more effort than cooking indoors, and while coal barbecuing might be a bit more involved, the smoky results are well worth it.

I don't know about you, but chicken is the staple weekday meat at our house, so if I do barbecue on a Wednesday, chances are I'll be making that. To avoid the dreaded blackened skin and raw flesh scenario, I remove the chicken from the fridge half-an-hour before cooking, and never barbecue it at too high a temperature (if using coal, wait till the flames have gone and the coals are covered with a light layer of grey ash). Then all you need is a good little recipe…

Bill's restaurant, Granger & Co, is at 175 Westbourne Grove, London W11, tel: 020 7229 9111; 50 Sekforde Street, London EC1, tel: 020 7251 9032; and Stanley Building, 7 Pancras Square, London N1, tel: 020 3058 2567, grangerandco.com. Follow Bill on Instagram at bill.granger

Miso and ginger chicken drumsticks with sesame slaw

My wife, Natalie, always rolls her eyes when I suggest making a slaw. I'm so obsessed with them that I think I've included recipe for one in all my books. I defy anyone to name a better accompaniment for barbecued chicken drumsticks.

Serves 4

8 chicken drumsticks
2 tbsp white miso paste
1 tbsp soy sauce
2cm ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed

For the sesame slaw

4 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp caster sugar
½ Asian cabbage, shredded
1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks
5cm piece white radish (daikon), cut into matchsticks

For the chicken, slash the flesh of the drumsticks with a sharp knife. Combine the remaining ingredients in a large container then toss in the chicken. Cover and marinate in the fridge for 1 hour, or ideally overnight.

For the slaw, toast the sesame seeds in a frying pan over a low heat, until golden. Set 1 tbsp aside. Grind the remaining sesame seeds with a pestle and mortar. Stir in the mirin, soy, sesame oil and sugar. Add 1 tbsp of water. Place in a bowl and gently stir through the cabbage, carrot and radish along with the rest of the sesame seeds. Cover and chill in the fridge.

Preheat the barbecue. Lift the chicken from the marinade. Place on the barbecue for 30 to 35 minutes, turning regularly, until cooked through and golden. Serve with the slaw. k

Chicken wings with fiery romesco

My aunt used to tell us kids that you should never serve chicken on the bone at dinner parties, or the guests would be forced to use their fingers. Sorry, Auntie, but in my book, seeing friends happily gnawing at chicken wings with sticky fingers fills me with joy.

Serves 4

1 tbsp brown sugar
½ tsp dried chilli flakes
Juice and grated zest 1 orange
½ tsp dried oregano
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
20 chicken wings

For the romesco sauce

100g roasted red peppers, drained
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
¼ tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tsp smoked paprika
50g roasted whole blanched almonds, roughly chopped

To serve

Lemon wedges, to serve

Chicken wings with fiery romesco (Petrina Tinslay)

Combine the sugar, chilli, orange, oregano, garlic and olive oil in a large bowl. Season with salt and toss in the chicken wings. Leave to marinate for at least 15 minutes or even overnight.

For the romesco, pulse the peppers, garlic, oil, vinegar and spices to a rough paste in a food processor. Tip into a small bowl and toss through the chopped almonds. Season with salt and more paprika, if liked.

To cook the chicken wings, heat a barbecue to hot. Remove the birds from the marinade. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, turning occasionally, until well charred and the meat is falling off the bone. Serve with the romesco and lemon wedges.

Spiced spatchcock poussins with chunky tabbouleh

In an ideal world, I'd marinate the poussins overnight, to flavour and tenderise the meat. In real life, this usually ends up being 30 minutes, which is still fine by me. Although I'm an optimist and perfectionist, I'm also a realist.

Serves 4

4 poussins
200ml yoghurt
Juice ½ lemon
2cm ginger, grated
1 tsp toasted coriander seeds
1 tsp toasted cumin seeds
½ tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp chilli powder
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp olive oil

For the tabbouleh

75g bulgur wheat
Juice 1 large lemon
1 garlic clove, crushed
½ tsp ground allspice
½ tsp ground cinnamon
5 tbsp olive oil
200g cherry tomatoes, quartered
Handful mint leaves, chopped
2 large handfuls parsley leaves, chopped

To serve

Green salad

Spiced spatchcock poussins with chunky tabbouleh (Petrina Tinslay)

To flatten the birds, lay them breast-side down with the neck away from you. Take a pair of kitchen scissors and, starting with the neck end, remove the backbone by cutting about ½cm from either side of the bone; you'll then be able to remove it easily. Turn the birds over and flatten with the palm of your hand. Make a marinade by combining the yoghurt, lemon, ginger, dry spices, garlic and olive oil in a large, shallow dish. Add the poussins and coat. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or ideally overnight.

For the tabbouleh, rinse the bulgur wheat in a sieve under cold running water until the water runs clear. Transfer to a bowl, pour in 300ml of boiling water and cover with cling film. Leave to soak for 30 minutes, then drain. Combine the lemon juice, garlic, spices and olive oil in a large bowl. Toss through the tomatoes, cooked bulgur wheat and herbs. Season with sea salt and black pepper.

To cook the poussins, heat a barbecue to hot. Remove the birds from the marinade, reserving the remainder. Cook for 5 minutes each side, then baste with the marinade and move to a cooler part of the barbecue. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, turning regularly, until the birds are golden and the juices run clear. Leave to rest in a warm place for 10 minutes then serve with the tabbouleh and a green salad.

Food preparation: Marina Filippelli; Props merchandising: Rachel Jukes

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