Chicken Oregano on the BBQ – just need the sunshine and you could be anywhere in the Med!

12 Apr

The first time we had this chicken dish was in Rhodes in the Spring.  I had just retired and we had rented a Villa for a month.  We cooked it on an old tin BBQ in the garden and I don’t think food ever tasted better.  Since then we have cooked it over and over again.  It is such a simple recipe and it never fails, unless of course you burn the chicken before it is cooked in the centre. Jamie Oliver has a top tip for BBQing chicken that prevents this. Butterfly the joint (pare the meat away from the bone so it is exposed).  The bone is then able to conduct the heat so that the chicken is cooked through without running the risk of having a burnt outside while the middle is still raw.  Works every time for us!

Before I share the recipes I am reminded of a great evening we spent with friends in Aegina.  I am sure I have mentioned Aegina before, and no doubt will do again.  It is, without doubt, one of our favourite Greek Islands.  Marc and Jane have a lovely house just outside of Aegina town and they had invited us to stay with them for a few days.  On this particular evening we were going to have a BBQ. Marc had made his own BBQ out of half an oil drum, a sight many that have been to Greece will be familiar with. He confessed that he was not very good at lighting the BBQ and that he always started early as it usually took umpteen attempts.  I can still see Terry’s face when he watched him prepare the charcoal, and Marc’s face when Terry took over the proceedings and lit the BBQ first time.  Marc was amazed and promised undying gratitude for the lesson.

The chicken has been marinating in the fridge for 3 hours and is now ready to be cooked.  All we need now is for our neighbours to arrive and let the party begin! Here are the recipes.

Chicken Oregano                                                 Serves 4

  • 8 chicken portions (Drumsticks and thighs) skin on, butterflied (see above)
  • 120 ml/4 fl oz olive oil
  • 120 ml/4 fl oz dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp. dried oregano
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  1.  Arrange the chicken portions in a large shallow dish. 
  2. Mix all the other ingredients together well then pour over the chicken.  Cover and refrigerate for 2 – 3 hours, turning occasionally.
  3. Half an hour before you are ready to eat, remove the chicken from the marinade and cook on an oiled BBQ rack or under a preheated grill for about 30 minutes, turning occasionally, until the chicken is golden and cooked through and the skin is crisp.  Serve the chicken immediately.

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