On the barbie

Ok sportsfans, I want to share with you a simple, delicious, rinky-dink marinade for your barbecue.

I sort of happened across this. I found a recipe that looked interesting. I tried it and it was good, but uninspiring. It seemed to me that there was a better, and more obvious combination of ingredients that would elevate it from the so-so to the outstanding. I was right.

What we’re talking about is a marinade for chicken, and preferable thigh fillets because they are so much more juicy. You don’t have to barbecue this, but I reckon that’s when you’ll get the maximum flavour out of it. Worked for me.

Mix together some tequila, lime juice, olive oil and sugar – this is the base I started from and adapted. The original reciped called for garlic and mint. I kept the garlic, removed the mint, and added some finely chopped chilli (I included the seeds because I like it hot, but beware), and some coriander, likewise finally chopped. Don’t overdo the coriander, though it always adds great flavour. I tossed in some sliced onion as well, and seasoned it. Ok, toss your thigh fillets into the mixture and marinate, an hour at minimum.

I’m going to tell you how to cook it too. I see many people with bad barbecuing habits – why, for example, would you ever cook a steak on the hotplate when you’ve got a great grill to use? Not enough people take advantage of the hood either. It’s a waste if you don’t – you want real heat, use the hood. I’m not saying I’m an expert, but I’m a reasonable good and well practiced, and I know my way around a barbie.

Anyway, fire up the barbie and let it heat-up first – this should be standard regardless of what you’re cooking. Hood down will speed up the process. Cook your fillets on the plate at first in about 2/3’s of the marinade. It will sizzle and bubble and the sugar in the marinade will begin to caramelise on the meat. Close the lid to keep the heat up. Once the meat is sealed on either side and halfway cooked put it on the grill. Nothing beats that char grill flavour of cooking meat over a flame. Cook long enough that you get the stripes across the meat. To finish off put it back on the hot plate and tip in the rest of the marinade, which will coat the meat and finish of the caramelisation process. Because of the marinade and the innate juiciness of the thigh fillets the meat is innately juicy, and full of flavour.

You can eat them as they are, or you can do as I did. I sliced the fillets up, mixed them with some fresh coriander, the beautifully flavoured onion, and a dollop of real egg mayonnaise, and wrapped then up in a tortilla I’d freshened up on the grill. Man, was this delish!

The coriander has such a fresh flavour, but if it’s too much for you you could substitute some rocket. Likewise you could try chilli sauce, and/or pickled or fresh sliced chilli if you desire extra pungency. Use your imagination, and served like this is a kind of top-end chicken fajitas.