Life Recipes

Sunday 19 November 2017

Get your grill on: 5 great BBQ recipes from Ireland’s top chefs

Catherine Fulvio, Donal Skehan, Paul Flynn, Kevin Dundon, Rachel Allen and Rozanne Stevens share their barbecue favourites.

Catherine Fulvio's Chicken Satay Sticks with Cucumber Salad
Catherine Fulvio's Chicken Satay Sticks with Cucumber Salad
Rachel Allen's Strawberry icecream is the perfect BBQ dessert
Rozanne Stevens' Moreish Asian Beef Skewers
Donal Skehan's Boozy Bum Chicken
Paul Flynn's crunchy mackerel Wraps

If the recent sunshine hasn’t coaxed you to get outside and spark up that barbecue then nothing will. This week’s scorching weather has been cause for many alfresco dining plans but sometimes it can be difficult to gather inspiration that stretches further than the old reliable burger.

Ireland’s top chefs Catherine Fulvio, Donal Skehan, Paul Flynn, Kevin Dundon and Rozanne Stevens are all huge supporters of the humble barbecus and below share their recipes for a summer barbecue with a difference.

Donal Skehan’s Boozy Bum Chicken

Boozy Bum Chicken

“I made this recently and I am a complete and utter convert. My regular poultry dish for barbecues is spatchcock chicken, but this method leaves you with beautifully moist and tender meat because of the steam created by the can of booze. And because the chicken stands upright, you get left with amazing crispy skin. You do, however, have to share the very awkward moment of preparing this particular recipe, which I can tell you no bird will be prepared for!”


(Serves four to six)

2 tbsps rapeseed oil

1 x 1.2kg chicken

2 tbsps cajun seasoning

Sea salt and ground black pepper 1 large can of either beer or cider


Rub the oil all over the bird and season with the cajun seasoning and a generous pinch of sea salt and ground black pepper. Open the can of the booze and sit the bird on top. It should now be standing to attention! Stand the chicken upright on a hot barbecue at 200°C for about one hour and 10 minutes until cooked all the way through. Using a large pair of tongs, remove the bird and can from the barbecue and then remove the can from the bird. Carve up and make sure everybody gets a piece of crispy skin when serving.

Catherine Fulvio’s chicken satay sticks with cucumber salad
Chicken Satay Sticks with Cucumber Salad

“These chicken satay sticks are a real hit with my children. They can even be made on cocktail sticks and served with a satay dip as canapés. Here, we remove them from the skewers and place them in wraps.”


4 skinless chicken breasts, cubed

1 red pepper, cut into 2cm dice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Sunflower oil For the marinade

100ml natural yogurt

3 tbsps crunchy peanut butter

3 tbsps sweet chilli sauce For the cucumber salad

1 cucumber, halved lengthways, deseeded and thinly sliced

1 red onion, thinly sliced

1 lemon, juice only

1 tbsp Thai fish sauce (nam pla)

1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves To serve

4 tbsps mayonnaise

4 tbsps mango chutney

4 flour tortilla wraps


Soak eight skewers if you are using wooden ones so they don't burn on the barbecue.

Place the yogurt, peanut butter and sweet chilli sauce in a bowl and mix together. Add the cubed chicken and coat well.

The chicken can be left in this marinade for two to three hours in the fridge or overnight.

For the cucumber salad, mix together the cucumber, red onion, lemon juice, Thai fish sauce and coriander in a large bowl. Chill until ready to serve.

Pre-heat the barbecue to a medium heat.

Shake off any excess marinade from the chicken. Thread the chicken pieces on to the skewers, alternating with the diced red pepper.

Season with salt and pepper.

Brush the barbecue rungs with oil. Place the skewers on the barbecue and cook, turning from time to time, until browned and cooked through.

Mix the mayonnaise with the mango chutney and spread on each of the wraps. Drain the cucumber and onion mixture and place in the centre of the wrap.

Using two skewers for each wrap, slide off the diced chicken and red peppers and place on top of the cucumber salad. Roll up and serve immediately.

Paul Flynn's crunchy mackerel wraps

Mackerel Wraps

“The most common mistake that people make whilst cooking on a barbecue is putting meat onto a flaming grill. This leads to a burnt outside that even a discerning dog wouldn't eat. There's a golden rule in my view when cooking anything – unless it's a truffle, black is never a good colour. A low heat is always your friend.”


(Serves 4)

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 mackerel fillets (all bones removed)

Freshly cracked salt and pepper

4 coriander tortilla wraps

4 tbsp cream cheese spread

2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

2 large tomatoes, sliced

1 cucumber, peeled and sliced

1 Little Gem lettuce, washed and shredded

1 foil tray


Drizzle half the oil over the foil tray. The first thing you need to do is remove the mackerel bones and the best way to do this is to cut a 'V' shape incision from tail to head and then remove them in one section. Season the fish and place skin-side down, then drizzle over the remaining olive oil and place the foil tray on a hot barbecue. Turn the mackerel after 2 minutes and cook for a further 2 – 3 minutes on the other side. Keep warm.

Heat the wraps by placing each one on the barbecue grill for 30 seconds or so. Smear the cream cheese over the wraps and drizzle the chilli sauce over them.

Remove the mackerel from the tray and divide between the wraps, then dress with the tomato, cucumber and lettuce. Wrap as snugly as you can and eat warm. Delicious.

Rozanne Stevens' Moreish Asian Beef Skewers

Rozanne Stevens' Moreish Asian Beef Skewers

“These skewers are bursting with flavour and can be done on the grill or barbecue.”


(Serves six)

500g beef fillet or sirloin, diced into large pieces

4 tbsps flour seasoned with salt and pepper

3 spring onions, sliced

1 red chilli, sliced

Lemon wedges, to serve

Toasted sesame oil, to serve Marinade paste 2 cloves garlic, sliced

1 stick lemongrass, white part only, grated with a Microplane grater

1 spring onion, sliced

1 red chilli, sliced

1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, grated

100ml plum sauce

2 tbsps soy sauce

1 tbsp sunflower oil


Pulse together all the marinade paste ingredients in a blender.

Coat the diced beef well in the seasoned flour, then pat on half of the marinade paste. Thread the beef on to the skewers and grill on a hot barbecue for three minutes on each side. This will cook the meat to medium rare. If you prefer your beef well cooked, move the skewers to a medium-hot part of the grill and cook further.

Serve the skewers garnished with the sliced spring onions, red chilli and lemon wedges and a few drops of toasted sesame oil. Serve the rest of the marinade on the side as a dipping sauce.

Tip: Plum sauce is a thick sweet-and-sour sauce made from plums and other soft stone fruit. You can make your own or use a shop-bought one as a dipping sauce for spring rolls, dumplings and other nibbles.

Rachel Allen's Strawberry Ice Cream



(Serves 12 people)

250g (9oz) fresh or frozen strawberries

Juice of 1 lemon

250g (9oz) caster sugar

200ml (7fl oz) water

4 large egg whites or 100g (4oz) egg whites

A pinch of cream of tartar

300ml (10fl oz) cream, whipped


Puree the strawberries with the lemon juice. You can use a liquidiser or food processor to do this.Or you could mash them with a fork, but be careful not to leave them too rough as they can get a bit icy!

Push the puree through a sieve to remove the seeds.

Place the sugar and the water in a saucepan, and heat slowly, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Boil fiercely for 5 minutes, until it thickens and the last drops off a spoon dipped into it form a kind of thread.

Meanwhile, using an electric whisk, whisk the egg whites with the cream of tartar until stiff.

Still whisking, gradually pour in the hot syrup in a thin stream, and continue to whisk until the mixture is cool, glossy and stiff (about 4 or 5 minutes).

Fold in the strawberry puree and the whipped cream, though not completely – I quite like to leave this slightly marbled. Freeze overnight. This ice cream can be scooped straight from the freezer.

Rachel's tip

Cream of tartar is slightly acidic, so adding a pinch when you're whisking egg whites will help you get more volume and stability.

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