Ingredients for BBQ Chicken:
1-1.3kg Whole Organic Chicken (preferably)
NB: If you don't have a Hot Chilli Jelly, then you could use a sweet chilli dipping sauce but remove the 2 teaspoons of sugar from the recipe
Ingredients for the Marinade:
2 x Limes (juice & zest)
4 tblsp Water
3 tblsp Runny Honey
3 x Garlic cloves (crushed and creamed)
3 tblsp Hot Chilli Jelly
2 tsp brown sugar
To start with, place the chicken onto a chopping board with the neck end pointing away from you and breast-side down. Feel along the backbone with you fingers so that you have an understanding of the width. Then cut down one-side of the backbone from the neck to the Parsons Nose, using a large and very sharp cooks’ knife. Once you have done this, turn the chicken over and flatten as much as you can buy pressing down on the breastbone with the palm of your hand.
Alternatively, if you want TWO separate halves, you don't want to press down on the chicken breastbone but you may want to remove the backbone completely, you can either cut down the other side of the backbone with your knife or simply use a sharp pair of kitchen scissors. Now flip the chicken over and run your finger along the breastbone and take your kitchen knife and gentle slice, cutting closely between the breastbone and the meat**. You will now have two pieces, trim the halves up by removing the Parsons Nose and any loose bits of skin.
Set these two halves into the dish that you will marinade and cover with either kitchen foil or a clean roasting bag. For the marinade, I personally prefer the flavour of lime over lemon on my chicken, mainly because the lime zing comes through in a more subtle way at the end of each bite. But if you only have lemons in the kitchen, they are a perfect substitute.
Now, zest the two limes into a bowl, add the juice of ONE lime and pour in all the remaining ingredients, mixing together so that they are fully combined. Set aside the other lime, you will need this later when cooking. Remove the foil/roasting bag from the chicken and pour the marinade lovingly over it both halves making sure that the breast side is facing up. Keep spooning the marinade all over the two pieces until all the meat has been completely covered, then cover with foil/roasting bag and pop in the fridge. Every hour, return to the chicken and reapply the marinade over both the pieces.
Once the chicken has been marinading for 6 hours, fire up the BBQ - if using coals you need to wait until they are white hot but if using gas, the BBQ will come to temperature quite quickly. As you are placing the chicken on the BBQ, cut the last lime in half, placing one half of each lime, flesh-side up into the breast cavity - this will help to add flavour and keep the breast meat moist.
Cook the chicken until the skin starts to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Move the halves to the cooler section of the BBQ and continue cooking until the skin is thoroughly browned which will take a further 5 to 7 minutes more. Watch carefully and use tongs to move the pieces away from flare-ups.
Turn the pieces and move them back to the hotter section of the grill. Cook the second side well (3 to 5 minutes), then move the pieces back to the cooler side of the grill to finish cooking. The total cooking time will be 20 to 24 minutes. When ready, the chicken will be crisp and golden with some charcoal patches on the outside and the juices will run clear when the meat is pierced.
Make sure you continue basting throughout the BBQing until all the marinade is completely used up. Once cooked through, place on a wooden chopping board, cover with kitchen foil and let it rest for 10-15mins.
To serve: carve up the chicken onto the board so that your friends and family have a good pick of the wings, drumsticks and breast meat. I enjoy serving with fresh rocket and mini-plum tomatoes and fresh home-made dressing.
** For BBQing, I like to keep the bones, so tend to leave attached if with family but if with friends I will remove completely.