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(Not) getting bored with barbecued chicken

Chatting with a friend who has rather enjoyed lockdown, his only apparent gripe is that he is fed up with barbecued chicken. Naturally I berated him, telling him I could think of at least a dozen quick and easy marinades to make the Chardonnay of the meat world tasty and different every time (at least for 12 chicken dinners anyway). I said I would email them to him but then thought I would stick them up here in the hope that some people might add their favourites to the list. Here are four of them...

Simplest and easiest of all (but very effective) is a spice mix I bought en vrac at an Auchan supermarket, mixed with a little olive oil and lemon juice. It doesn't really need to be left to marinate at all although there is no harm in letting it sit for a while, of course.

A family favourite is Pollo all Diavolo, which we first encountered more than 25 years ago in Gubbio in Italy. It arrived at the table on fire with a big pile of chips. Spicy and delicious, a simple way to make this is to marinade it with oil, lemon juice, crushed (or, better, grated) garlic and plenty of dried chilli seeds (or ground chilli). We had this a few days ago with some baked asparagus wrapped in prosciutto and some left over spicy puttanesca sauce (and the inevitable stack of small roast potatoes, easier than chips). It was fabulous and enjoyed with I Campi's 2017 Soave Classico which cut through the spice well offering a little residual sweetness. A more usual wine to go with this meal, though, would be Sangiovese-based, such as Poggio al Gello's Montecucco wines.

As I wrote in a previous blog, another simple way to make chicken more interesting is to smear it in harissa (preferably home made). This one should be left, ideally overnight, to allow the flavours to integrate.

Similarly, a Peri Peri marinade works wonders. A friend gave me a good recipe for this a few years ago, making me promise never to share it. However, I have made several changes to it so, one day, I may get around to this.


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