Chicken is such a versatile source of protein that when combined with a variety of ingredients can be transformed into an entirely new dish.
This is my final recipe from my village series and it’s been an absolute pleasure sharing with you how we eat back at home,using simple locally sourced ingredients that are not only fresh and healthy but are sustainable to say but the least.
This hands down is the best grilled chicken I have ever tasted bursting with flavor,aroma and that lemony tang we all love when it comes to white meat.
Doesn’t that just look out of this world delicious?
I used a whole chicken in my recipe skin on bone in.Having the skin on protects the chicken while it grills preventing it from drying out,well also who doesn’t like the taste of charred crispy chicken skin?
The bone flavors the chicken as it cooks by basting it from the inside.Well! Next time you think of firing up that grill for your chicken barbecue,remember skin on,bone in.Thank me later.
For my chicken marinade I wanted to build up layers of flavor mostly from ingredients and herbs growing outside in my mother’s garden.
The first herb is one of my favorite aromatic,rosemary.
This woody perennial herb with fragrant evergreen needle like leaves with uses ranging from pest control,medication to decorative effects,will go into our marinade flavoring and aromatizing the bird.
Then there is the spring onion.
I picked them for their less intense oniony flavors but are huge in aroma.I worked out they will go really well alongside the rosemary.
Next is a favorite of mine in marinades,especially chicken and beef.This is one of my favorite fruits and my mouth always waters on the sight of one.The pineapple.
This will tenderize the chicken while at the same time keeping it moist preventing it from drying out.
The next ingredient was totally experimental and it turned out exceptionally well and I recommend if you can get your hands on them not to leave them out.
They add an amazing citrusy zesty flavor and stronger aroma as opposed to just using the fruit itself.Its a gamble I took and it paid of handsomely.
This won’t be a lemon grilled chicken without the lemon fruit itself.Not to forget the bee so faithful,Ginger and garlic.
What marinade is complete without ginger and garlic huh? lemon goes well with almost anything.Its citrusy tang cuts through the chicken not only flavoring it but masking through that chicken smell we all hate as well.
So that included alongside some pantry staples in cumin,turmeric and black pepper makes for the best marinade in the world.
I always wash my chicken with a dash of vinegar and turmeric,this will get rid or any chicken smell leaving the chicken clean and smelling fresh.
Washing with turmeric and including it in the marinade also gives the chicken an attractive color as we all know,we eat with our eyes first.
I cut up my bird Into four quarters.This way they cook quickly and ensures that they don’t dry out at the same time.
After washing,I applied my marinade and let the chicken marinate in the fridge covered for 2 hours.
When ready to grill,take the bird out of the fridge 30 minutes prior and let it come to room temperature before placing them on the grill on a medium high heat.
Don’t flip until the chicken has cooked and releases itself from the grill.Otherwise you will end up with bits of chicken stuck up on your grill.
Keep flipping on a regular basis making sure the chicken doesn’t burn.
Flip and turn until the desired doneness.when cut the juices should run clear.
Take your bird off the grill and let it rest if you are patient enough which we were not.
- 1 whole chicken (2kg)
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- 2 rosemary sprigs
- Juice of one large lemon
- 4 lemon leaves
- 3 spring onion leafy green
- 1inch ginger
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- Salt&pepper to taste
- Remove any excess fats and divide your chicken into 4 equal quarters.
- Rub turmeric all over your chicken and wash it with clean water(rub not included in recipe)
- Cut your lemon leaves into thin slices,squeeze out your pineapple and lemon juice,bash your rosemary with a rolling pin then pluck it out,bash the spring onion leaves,mince your ginger and garlic.
- In a bowl with your chicken,mix in all your herbs and spices seasoning generously with salt and pepper.Massage,cover with cling film and set in the refrigerator to marinate for 2 hours.
- Take out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling allowing it to come to room temperature.
- Grill over hot coals on medium high flipping and turning regularly.
- Make a basting brush using rosemary sprigs and using the leftover marinade baste the chicken as it cooks.
- The chicken is done when the juices run clear when cut.
- Set aside to rest covered in foil for 5 minutes before cutting up.Serve hot.
This I must admit it the best grilled chicken I have ever had in my life and it blew my mind away.