Next level BBQ Chicken

Discover how to cook BBQ chicken like a pro. The meat falls off the bone, and the marinade has a lovely balance of sweet, salty and spicy flavours.

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 1hr
Difficulty: Easy
Serves: 4


2 red chillies , tops removed and reserved for the smoke mix (see below)
8 spring onions , roughly chopped
thumb-sized piece of ginger , peeled and roughly chopped
8 garlic cloves , roughly chopped
2 tbsp chopped thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp paprika
3 tbsp dark brown soft sugar
4 tbsp soy sauce
4 limes , 2 juiced, plus 2 halved to serve
1.5kg mix of chicken drumsticks and wings, lightly scored
200ml ketchup

For the smoke mix (optional)
handful of thyme sprigs
handful of bay leaves
1 tsp ground allspice
reserved chilli tops (see above)


  1. To prepare the meat, tip all the ingredients, except for the chicken and ketchup, into a blender or mini processor. Add a pinch of salt and blitz to a rough paste. Tip two-thirds of the paste into a large bowl with the chicken, and massage the marinade into the meat. Cover and leave for at least 1 hr at room temperature, or up to 48 hrs in the fridge.
  2. Meanwhile, make the barbecue sauce. Tip the remaining paste into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 mins until it thickens and becomes darker, then add the ketchup and cook for 5 mins until sticky. Tip into a container and set aside.
  3. Light the barbecue, ensuring the coals are piled up at one end and leaving only a couple of coals on the other side. Lay the chicken on the emptier side. If you’re making the smoke mix, carefully scatter all of the ingredients directly onto the piled-up coals. Cover the barbecue (with the vents open) and cook the chicken for 20 mins. Remove the lid and turn the chicken, then cover again and cook for a further 20 mins.
  4. Remove the lid and move the chicken across the grill so it’s above the piled-up coals, then baste with some of the barbecue sauce, keeping enough aside, in a separate container, to serve later. Cook for 10 mins, adding a few more coals if you need to and turning often, until nicely charred and cooked through – a digital thermometer inserted through the thickest part of the meat should read at least 65C.
  5. Put the lime halves on the grill, over the coals, cut-side down for 3-4 mins until charred. Serve the chicken with the lime for squeezing over and reserved barbecue sauce for dipping.

Recipe from

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