Ireland is experiencing a period of glorious hot, sunny weather. It’s currently the warmest spell since 1977. In Ireland, when the warm weather hits, we strip off, rush out and burn our pasty skin to a nice lobster red. Families and gangs of what are euphemistically described as ‘youth’ descend on our beaches. Following long periods in the sun, blistering themselves and spreading a desecration of used nappies (families) cans (youth) and litter (everybody, it seems), they return to their homes for an evening family barbecue. Most satisfy themselves with spurious meats in radioactive looking sauce from the supermarket. Life can be better than this. Let me show you how.
If you have been out with your family/mates throwing soiled nappies, beer cans and crisp packets around your local beauty spots, you might like to try my Oriental Chicken Drumsticks. I guarantee you they are a delight. They will improve your manners and may even cause you to think a bit about the environment in which we live.
- 12 free range chicken drumsticks
- 4 or 5 stalks of lemongrass
- 3 or 4 chillis
- 5cm (2″) piece of ginger
- 6 cloves (or two single bulb) of garlic
- 2 teaspoons of ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of mirin
- 2 or 3 spring onions
- 3 or 4 shallots
- 1 lime
As you can see from the list above, the marinade is not prescriptive. You could also swap out the mirin for fish sauce but use less if you don’t want a salt overload. You could also throw in a handful of coriander if you like.
Take everything bar the chicken and lime and roughly chop and peel as appropriate. Add it all to a blender.
Get a sharp knife and cut deep slashes in the chicken meat. This does two things. It allows the marinade penetrate the meat and also makes for more even cooking.
Place the chicken in a bowl and pour over the marinade. Rub it into the chicken just like you might rub Factor 50 onto a toddler at the beach. Cover and place it in the fridge for a few hours (the chicken, not the toddler).
Heat the barbecue to hot, then turn it down to medium-low. We want to cook the chicken through, not burn the outside and sicken the diners.
Just before taking them off the grill, squeeze the juice of the lime over them. Serve these as a tasty starter or with a big salad if there are only a couple of you dining. You will not be disappointed. When you are finished, go and clean up the beach.
Footnote on cooking chicken in hot weather: When you are preparing chicken in warm conditions, be sure to wash everything (including yourself) frequently and thoroughly. Wipe down surfaces with soap or disinfectant. You do not want to get poisoned by your culinary ineptitude.
When cooking it, do it low and slow as I suggest. Same reason as above, except you might poison the family too.
With that said, enjoy the barbecue and the lovely summer weather.