© David Loftus
the best barbecued sticky chicken with lemon and garlic
These chicken thighs are slow-cooked to start off with then finished hard and fast on the barbecue. Once you’ve learned to cook meat like this on the barbecue you’ll never look back. Cooking the thighs all the way through in foil first means you’ll be confident that they’re cooked through and you’ll be free to concentrate on getting that lovely layer of sticky flavour from the roasted lemon and garlic glaze.
Get your barbecue on about an hour before you want to cook and preheat your oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.
Season the chicken well with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil. Get a big double layer of tin foil and pop the thighs in the middle with the bulb of garlic. Chop one of your lemons in half and pop this in too. Wrap the chicken up then put your foil parcel on a baking tray and into the hot oven for 35 minutes until the chicken pulls away easily from the bone – if you have to tug at it it’s not ready, so pop it back in the oven for another 5 minutes or so.
When done, carefully take the chicken out off the oven and unwrap it. By this time your barbecue should be at the perfect temperature – a good medium heat – so get your chicken on to start charring.
While this is happening, get on with your sticky glaze. Carefully, clove by clove, squeeze the sweet roasted garlic out of its papery skin into a pestle and mortar. Carefully squeeze in the juice of your roasted lemon halves too. Give this a good bash up and season with salt and pepper then add a good lug of olive oil and mix until you have a thick paste. Now squeeze in the juice of the other lemon so you get 2 levels of lemon flavour – one sweet and roasted, the other fresh and zingy.
Use your rosemary sprigs to brush the paste onto the chicken, basting and turning for about 10 minutes so you are building up a lovely layer of sticky garlicky sweetness and a wonderful golden brown colour.
Once you’re happy with the chicken, use tongs to move it to a nice platter then top with the rocket or pea shoots and any remaining marinade and tuck in!
chicken-thighs">Watch this video online.
• 8 chicken thighs, bone-in and skin on, preferably free range or organic
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• olive oil
• 1 bulb of garlic, whole
• 2 lemons
• 5 sprigs of fresh rosemary, tied together
a good handful of rocket or pea shoots, washed and spun-dry