Tuesday 21 January 2020

Fire up the barbie - recipes from TV chef James Martin

Beer can piri piri chicken
Beer can piri piri chicken
Lemongrass poussin. Photo: Peter Cassidy.
Rump steak with creamy brioche leaks. Photo: Peter Cassidy.
James Martin - More Home Comforts.

Saturday morning TV favourite chef James Martin knows a thing or too about great BBQ food

Beer can piri piri chicken with garlic butter jacket potatoes

Beer can piri piri chicken

Cooking on a beer can is nothing new: in Australia they've been doing it for years. The secret is that the beer keeps the inside of the chicken nice and moist while it's cooking on the barbecue. You'll need a barbecue with a lid, and you can cook the jacket potatoes in foil alongside. With added garlic butter at the end, this makes a truly delicious summertime meal.

Serves 4

You will need

1½ tbsp sweet smoked paprika

½ tbsp hot smoked paprika

½ tsp chilli flakes

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

3 limes

3 lemons

5 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to drizzle

1 x 2kg whole chicken

4 baking potatoes, scrubbed

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 garlic bulbs

1 can of beer, half full

3 tbsp finely chopped chives

250g unsalted butter, softened

1 head of lettuce, root removed and leaves separated

4 ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks

¼ cucumber, cut in half lengthways, then into slices

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


Put both the paprikas, chilli flakes, Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, the juice of 1 lime and of 1 lemon into a bowl and mix to a paste. Pour the paste into a large plastic bag, then add the olive oil and the chicken. Seal at the end and shake around so that the chicken is covered in spices.

Prick the potatoes, then rub with a little oil, salt and black pepper, and wrap each one in foil. Place 1 garlic bulb on another sheet of foil and drizzle with oil, then twist tight.

Cut the second garlic bulb in half and place inside the chicken, then manoeuvre the half-full beer can into the bottom of the chicken too. The beer will bubble up and create steam inside the chicken, keeping it moist as it cooks, but you only need the can to be half full otherwise it will spill over.

Put the potatoes and garlic on a barbecue, then place the chicken upright, standing on the beer can in the centre. Make a silver foil collar for the base of the chicken to protect it slightly, then cover with a lid and roast for 15 minutes. Remove the garlic bulb and roast for another 30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are tender. If you want to cook this in a roasting tray in the oven, you will probably need to place the chicken on a low shelf to fit it in. Cook the garlic for 15 minutes and the chicken and potatoes for 45-60 minutes, at 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.

Take the cooked garlic out of the foil and allow to cool. Cut the top off the bulb and squeeze the cooked garlic out into a bowl. Add the chives and the softened butter, and mix together.

Toss the lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber together in a large serving bowl, and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil. Cut the remaining limes and lemons into chunks.

Place the cooked chicken on the beer can in the centre of a serving platter. Loosen the foil from the potatoes, cut a cross in the top of them, squeeze gently and spoon the garlic butter on top. Place them around the chicken and garnish with the lemons and limes.

Lemongrass poussin with red cabbage salad

Lemongrass poussin. Photo: Peter Cassidy.

This is one of my all-time favourite meals, and it was great cooking it with my great friend Pierre Koffmann on the show - thanks to all his help, the dressing is off the scale.

Serves 4

You will need

2 lemongrass stems, finely chopped

2 tbsp roughly chopped coriander leaves

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 red chillies, finely chopped

5cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated

2 limes, juiced

300ml vegetable oil

4 poussins

1 egg yolk

2 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp red wine vinegar or walnut vinegar

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 small red cabbage, very finely sliced


Soak a clean wooden broomstick in cold water, overnight preferably. Set a barbecue going and wait until the flames have died down.

Place the lemongrass, coriander, garlic, chillies, ginger and lime juice in a bowl with 50ml of the vegetable oil, and mix to combine. Toss the poussins in this marinade, scooping some inside too. Slide them onto the centre of the soaked broomstick and tie each one with string to secure them onto the stick.

Set the broomstick over the barbecue, about 30cm above the coals, and cook for 30 minutes, turning every so often to cook each side all the way through. If you want to cook the poussins in the oven, put them in a roasting tray and roast for 30-40 minutes at 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.

While the poussins cook, make the salad. Whisk the egg yolk, Dijon mustard, vinegar and 250ml of water together in a bowl until combined. Add the rest of the oil gradually, whisking all the time until emulsified. Season well with salt and pepper.

Place the red cabbage in a bowl, add 100ml of the dressing and toss to combine. Check the seasoning, then set aside until ready to serve. This salad can be made up to a day in advance. The remainder of the dressing can be kept in a sealed container in the fridge for up to one week.

To check that the poussins are cooked through, insert the point of a knife or the prongs of a carving fork into the thigh and check that they're hot all the way through. If not, keep roasting for another 5 minutes and check again.

Serve with a pile of red cabbage salad.

Rump steak with creamy brioche leaks

Rump steak with creamy brioche leaks. Photo: Peter Cassidy.

Rump steak is a chef's favourite, as it's full of flavour. My advice is to buy the best quality you can, as there are cheap rump steaks that even your dog would find hard to chew.

Serves 4

You will need

1 medium potato, peeled and cut into 1cm dice

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

125g unsalted butter

1 shallot, finely diced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

500g leeks, washed and sliced

100ml white wine

250ml double cream

3 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked

3 slices of brioche loaf, cut into 1cm cubes

50g Gruyère cheese, finely grated

4 x 250g rump steaks

1 tbsp rapeseed oil


Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Bring a pan of water to the boil. Add the potato and a pinch of salt, reduce the heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes, then drain.

Meanwhile, heat a frying pan until just warm. Add 50g of the butter and when it's melted, add the shallot, garlic and leeks and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until softened.

Add the potato to the pan and mix to combine, then add the white wine and bring to a simmer. Add the cream and thyme leaves, and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and pour into an ovenproof dish.

Heat a separate frying pan until hot. Add 50g of the butter and the brioche cubes and fry until golden-brown on all sides. Scatter over the top of the leeks, then scatter the cheese over the top to cover. Bake for 5-10 minutes until golden and bubbling.

Meanwhile, heat a griddle pan until searing hot and rub the steaks with the rapeseed oil. Brush the griddle with a little rapeseed, then add the steaks and cook for 2 minutes without moving them. Turn them 90° and cook for another minute. Season with salt and pepper. Turn the steaks over and cook for 1-2 more minutes, then remove from the pan and place on a plate to rest.

Melt the remaining butter in the brioche pan and brush it over the steaks, spooning any resting liquid back over the meat, then season once more.

Serve the steaks with the leeks alongside and any juices poured over them.

Irish Independent

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