• 1.8kg whole chicken
  • 200ml ginger beer (optional)
  • 1 bunch of spring onions, trimmed and sliced on the diagonal
  • small bunch of coriander, leaves picked
  • sesame oil, for drizzling

For the marinade


  • STEP 1

    Put the chicken on a board breast-side down with the legs facing you. Using kitchen scissors or poultry shears, cut along either side of the backbone and remove it (freeze it to use for stock). Open the chicken out, turn it over and push down the breastbone to flatten. Cut a few slashes in the legs and thighs.

  • STEP 2

    Whisk the marinade ingredients together. Reserve 2 tbsp and rub the rest all over the chicken, working it under the skin. Cover and chill for at least 1 hr or overnight.

  • STEP 3

    Light the barbecue, stacking the coals on one side. When the flames have died down and the coals are ashen, lay a flameproof foil tray or old roasting tin over the empty side and pour in the ginger beer or 100ml water. Set the grill on top. Place the chicken skin-side up on the grill, cover with the lid and cook for 45 mins. Baste with the reserved marinade, then re-cover and cook for 5 mins more. Move the chicken to the hotter side of the barbecue for 5 mins to char the skin a little, being careful not to burn it. The chicken is ready when the legs pull away easily and a digital probe thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh and breast reads 70C. Lift onto a board, rest for 10 mins then scatter over the spring onions and coriander. Drizzle with sesame oil.

Recipe tip

Rain or shine: To cook indoors, heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/ gas 6 and roast the chicken for 35-40 mins on a baking tray, then put under a hot grill for 5-10 mins to char the skin.

Goes well with


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A star rating of 4.8 out of 5.4 ratings