This post originally appeared on my foodianlily.blogspot.com page in July 2016. It's my go-to chicken paste and it works on the barbecue, in the oven, broiled, fried...you name it!! One thing to note is that if you're doing this on the hob, under the grill or in a small kitchen, you'll need to ease up on the chilli... Did I mention that I'm a major chilli fiend? If you've run through my recipes, I probably don't need to tell you that!
A couple of adjustments are in this version. Shows how versatile it is. Plus it can be cooked straightaway or left in the fridge overnight. I'm yet to try this with meat but it is so delicious with mackerel or sea bass, sea bream and even with prawns too! Tweaks are easy so you can stick with the herb and oil base and skip the chilli and cumin, maybe muddle in some orange juice or lemon thyme or tomato puree even for a little flavour adjustment.
I've included a spatchcock chicken option here as it's the way I've used this the most...the photos included are a medley to demonstrate the variety with this marinade.
2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp fresh coriander
1 tbsp paprika
1 deseeded pointy red pepper
3 cloves garlic
1 medium red onion
2 chillies (choose what you can tolerate)
1 bouillon or stock cube
1 tbsp olive oil
A few basil leaves (Use at least 3, dried basil is fine but it's really the fresh fragrance I love)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 poussin or 1 large chicken
- Place the chicken on a chopping board on a stable surface. Using a large knife, start from the top of the cavity, breasts up and follow the bone between the chicken breasts to open out the chicken. Don't try to go dead centre on the chicken. You need to choose one side of the bone or the other to cut through easily.
- You'll notice that as you get to the end where the thighs and drumsticks are, there's a bone in the way. Use your palm to put a little extra pressure on the back of the knife and break through the bone. Flatten out the chicken on a baking tray covered in foil ready to go into the oven.
- If you've got a heavy pan, place some baking paper on the chicken and then use the pan to give the chicken a couple of good presses with the pan balanced on top. It'll help flatten out the chicken ready for the oven.
-Place all the ingredients, starting with the basil and finishing with the onions, lemon juice and oil into a small blender, nutribullet or mill and blitz until well combined. If you haven't got one, grab a bowl and the end of a rolling pin and mash it all together until you've got a good pulp.
- You want to finish with the oil, lemon juice and onions as they'll provide the liquid for the blades to keep chopping effectively. If you don't have a mill, finely chop all the ingredients and mash it all up in a small bowl to combine.
- Spread all over the chicken and place into the oven for 1hr at 175°C if using poussin. If a whole chicken, you'll need to know the weight and the rule is to go for an initial 20mins at a higher temperature (190°C fan oven) to help crisp the skin then 30mins per 500g (175°C fan oven) and once out of the oven, rest the meat for 10mins before carving. I generally go with that but I always use a skewer to pierce under the thigh to see if the juices run clear before serving. If you like your bird super dry, I'd say don't cook chicken. You're a murderer!! 😠Only kidding...lol. Not really, well to each their own ☺️. This works on a whole chicken too.
- After removing the chicken, add a tbsp each of water and oyster sauce or soy sauce to the tray and use it to rinse the bits into a small saucepan to make your gravy. So delicious!!! Let me know how you get on if you give it a go.