Because the flavour of chicken is mild, it benefits from a tasty baste when barbecued or grilled, and this also helps to keep the outside from burning until the chicken is cooked through – especially when cooking over charcoal.
8 chicken drumsticks or thighs, about 670 g, skinned
lime wedges to garnish
Jamaican barbecue baste
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, very finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
grated rind and juice of 1 lime
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To make the baste, heat the oil in a small frying pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion, garlic and chilli and cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes or until the onion is softened and starting to brown. Tip into a large shallow bowl. Add the spices and the lime rind and juice, and stir well to mix.
Make a few shallow slits in each piece of chicken, then add to the bowl. Turn the pieces to coat thoroughly with the baste, rubbing it into the slits in the meat. Cover and leave to marinate at room temperature for 1 hour or in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
Prepare the barbecue. When it has burned down to coals covered with grey ash, remove the chicken pieces from the marinating baste and barbecue them for 20–25 minutes, turning and brushing frequently with the baste, until cooked all the way through.
Alternatively, preheat the grill to medium-high. Arrange the chicken pieces on the grill rack and grill for 20–25 minutes, turning and basting frequently.
Serve the chicken hot, garnished with the lime wedges.
For a red wine and thyme baste, fry the onion and garlic in the oil with 2 fresh bay leaves and 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves. Add 170 ml red wine and 1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper. * For a maple syrup and orange baste, fry the onion and garlic in the oil, then add 3 tablespoons maple syrup, the grated rind and juice of 1 orange, 1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon.
The Mediterranean diet is thought to be much healthier than the average Australian or New Zealand diet. One of the reasons for this is the use of olive oil, a monounsaturated fat, rather than butter and other saturated fats.