Paul Mercurio's Beer and Herb Marinated Chicken
You will very rarely hear me say or read in my recipes the following: “Use any beer you like with this recipe.” But I am being very brave and saying it now. I actually want to scream and yell and say not ‘any’ any beer, but actually I will be quiet and let you go forth as you feel. (OkayI will just ask you don’t use a light beer… please!)
The reason I say to use any beer (well almost) is because this recipe works great with any beer (except light beer). You can use a pale, an amber, a lager, an IPA, a stout, a red, a brown, a black, a heff, a wit, a double or triple or quad! They will all work and they will all lend their own unique flavour and character to this recipe. So go ahead and use any beer you want… but not, you know…
Cooking chicken on the bone is the best way to go for flavour and tenderness and cooking it on the barbecue is fantastic for that smoky charred flavour! The chicken is cooked when you can pull the breast away from the leg easily, when you poke a knife into the thickest part of the meat and the juice runs clear and there is no blood around the thigh/leg bones. I know some people don’t like to eat the skin but do the chicken a favour and cook it with the skin on as it will add flavour to the meat and it will protect the meat from drying out, if you don’t want to eat the skin give it to me!
Beer and Herb Marinated Chicken
¼ cup of olive oil
¼ cup of lemon juice
½ cup of good quality craft beer
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 cloves of garlic – crushed
1 red chilli – chopped
2 shallots – finely chopped
1 teaspoon Mexican chilli powder
¼ teaspoon of sugar
¼ cup of fresh Basil – chopped
¼ cup of fresh flat leaf parsley – chopped
¼ cup of coriander – chopped
Fresh cracked Black pepper
1 free range chicken – approx 1.7
Combine all of the ingredients except the chicken in a mixing bowl, stir to combine and then let sit for whilst you prepare the chicken.
For the chicken: using kitchen scissors cut down either side of the backbone and remove – save for making chicken stock. Turn the chicken over so the breast is facing up and using the palms of your hands press firmly down on the breast bone so it breaks and the chicken is splayed out flat. Using a sharp knife cut the chicken in half so you end up with two halves of the chicken each with a leg and a breast. Using a sharp knife score the flesh of chicken four or five times on each half – this allows the marinade to get into the meat. Place the chicken into a large pan breast side down and spoon some of the marinade over then turn the halves over and pour the rest of the marinade over the top of the chicken. Using your hands rub the herbs over the chicken and into the cuts you made when you scored the chicken. Marinate the chicken for at least an hour spooning the marinade over the chicken every 15 minutes or so. If you can marinate the chicken for three or four hours it will be tastier – just cover it with cling wrap and put it in the fridge and spoon the marinade over the chicken every half hour or so.
Heat your barbecue grill up for 15 minutes on high then place the chicken halves skin side down and cook for 10 minutes then turn over and cook on high for another 10 minutes spoon some of the marinade over the chicken. Turn over again (skin side down) spoon some of the marinade over the chicken, turn the heat down to medium and cook for about 10 – 15 minutes spooning some more marinade over the chicken after ten minutes. Turn the chicken over again and cook for 15 – 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through – if you have any marinade left tip it over the chicken. The breast meat will be cooked before the legs – about 5 minutes or so – so keep an eye on them and when done pull them away from the leg and put them on a plate and keep warm until the legs are cooked through.
Serve with potato salad, rice salad and green salad.