Preparation time: 10 mins (plus overnight marinade)
Cooking time: about 2 hrs
This recipe takes the flavours from a simple sweet and spicy marinade and combines them with the subtle complexity of wood smoking.
If you’ve not tried low-temperature BBQ cooking, or even smoking, this recipe is a good place to start. The preparation is quick and easy, and the cut of meat relatively forgiving to the flexibility of timing and temperatures.
6 free-range native-breed chicken legs, portioned into thighs and drumsticks
Smoking wood chips of your preference (e.g. apple, cherry, hickory, oak)
For the marinade
150ml soy sauce
50ml lime juice
50ml fish sauce
A thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
2 red chillies, finely chopped
1 tbsp red chilli flakes
1. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Place the chicken legs into a ziplock bag and add the marinade. Double up the bags to safeguard against leakage. Place the chicken into the fridge to marinate overnight, but for no more than 12 hours.
2. About 3 hours before you plan to serve, light the charcoal on your BBQ. You want to use a 2-zone indirect ‘low and slow’ set up with the coals over to one side and the meat on the other as shown here. (Note: this webpage also gives a bit more background to the cooking process, and how to do it on a gas BBQ.)
3. Soak your wood chips in a bowl of water for at least 15 mins before you need them. Once the flames have died down it's time to get smoking! Place the chicken on the opposite side of the grill to the coals and sprinkle a handful of wood chips over the coals. Close the lid and let the smoke and convection heat work their magic.
5. After about 2 hours the chicken will have undergone a deep bronzing from the smoking process, and should be cooked through but still juicy and tender. Transfer to a serving dish and allow to rest for a few minutes before serving.
Recipe and photos by Mike Heywood, South London resident, regular customer, pork devotee, home chef and Instagrammer extraordinaire. To see more stay tuned to this blog or follow Mike on Instagram @4TELIER
Cotswold Gold and White Chickens farmed by Jacob & Nick, Fosse Meadows, Leicestershire. Available at The Butchery Ltd.