(Barbecued Lemon Balm Chicken)
I’ve been reading up about click baiting. Facebook are having another go at putting the kibosh on the practice. I have some issues with the approach. I understand that they will not allow headlines that don’t directly relate to the content following. I do accept that there is a need to prevent the “Ten things that rich people do that you don’t.” and “At last, a simple cure for your flatulence.” headlines. But, this line of reasoning will, ultimately, lead to writing with no creative content. Where the headline needs to relate directly to the following content and subject needs to be SEOed into the text, the ability to write around a subject, as I am doing now, becomes very difficult.
I suspect when they see a headline like mine above and realise that the story is about chicken, they will ban me from their platforms. Then they will send a team of android ‘corectobots’ around to my house in a self driving car. I fear for my future. While I wait for them to get here, read a recipe for Lemon Balm Chicken (it’s what I’m writing about).
The “Thank You M’am” bit is in thanks to our friend Helen Wood who welcomed the Wife and I to the Keirmasi Gites, in the Dordogne, for our French holiday this year. Helen has a lovely lemon balm bush growing in her garden. It provided the balm of the title.
Ingredients for Lemon Balm Chicken
- 1 great quality chicken
- 1 handful of fresh lemon balm
- 1 handful of fresh thyme
- Juice of a lemon
- 3 cloves of excellent garlic
- 1 good glug of olive oil
- Salt and pepper
To my mind, the best way to barbecue a chicken is to flatten it out so there is a reasonably thin surface area for the heat to permeate. This process is called spatchcocking. It sounds vaguely vulgar but, it isn’t. Simply stand the chicken on end, with the rude bit pointing upwards. Cut down either side of the backbone with a knife or large kitchen scissors.
Place the chicken down, breast side up and press down until it flattens. There will be some bone cracking involved in this (the chicken’s, not yours).
Skewer the chicken through the leg, breast and wings. Chop up the garlic. Remove the thyme and lemon balm leaves from their stalks and throw the lot into a dish. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Pour in the glug of olive oil. Add the chicken and bast it with the marinade.
Cover and store it in a cool place for a couple of hours, basting every 20 minutes or so.
Heat the barbecue. Cook the chicken. You can use a meat probe to test for doneness or you can trust to luck and experience as I did here.
Carve the chicken. This will be easier as a result of the bone crunching spatchcocking.
Serve it with a nice fresh salad and some local sparkling Rosé, should you be in the local of a producer.
As for the art of creative writing, I hope that the Googles and Facebooks of this world either are very smart in what is considered to be on topic or we can face an online future of stifling predictability. Now, I have to go. I saw a great article, on something that I couldn’t believe what happened next, that I just have to read…