Jolly Jogging Jon’s Wellington BBQ Chicken

This recipe is credited to a chap called Jon, who lives down my street. We went camping at Wellington Park recently with a load of the families down our road, and we found out that some of the kids refer to him as Jolly Jogging Jon – he does jog pretty much every morning and when he is not being chased into the Thames by big scary dogs he is indeed very jolly!

Anyway, as usual when camping I ended up running the BBQs, in the rain… I had three on the go at one point and was referred to as ‘the Jean Michelle Jarre of BBQing’ which entertained me. One of the items I was looking after was some amazing chicken which it turned out Jon had prepared himself. It was literally one of the best BBQ items I have ever tasted. In lieu of payment for the beer he drank, I accepted a guest post for this blog – so, here, for your delight and delectation, is Jolly Jogging Jon’s Wellington BBQ Chicken. I tried it myself this weekend and it was every bit as good as the original – highly recommended:

Spicy Wellington Chicken for the BBQ
A particularly tasty, spicy chicken recipe for the BBQ.  Deliciously moist, and best eaten outdoors.

12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (don’t be tempted to use breasts as the end result will be less succulent, and definitely don’t use chicken pieces with the skin left on – they simply don’t absorb the marinade as well; buy ones with the longest shelf life for a really fresh chicken taste to complement the marinade)

A good slug of olive oil (the mild type is fine)
A tablespoon of tomato puree
Half a tablespoon of tomato ketchup
Half to three quarters of a bulb (yes, bulb, not clove) of garlic, peeled
A tablespoon of mango chutney (plain variety, not one with whole spices as these could disrupt the spice balance)
A tablespoon of smoked paprika (must be the smoked variety; hot smoked paprika is fine but watch the chilli)
Fresh chillies to taste, seeds’n’all (for the usual supermarket varieties, about 3 or 4 gives a good kick)
Juice from half a lemon
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
2 generous teaspoons of medium or hot curry powder
1 tablespoon of light soy sauce
A dash of balsamic or sherry vinegar (this is optional but adds a tang and helps the lemon juice tenderise the meat)
Yellow or red food colouring (this is optional; sadly, this does give the best results and if you want to keep it natural and please insectetarian guests, use a cochineal-based red colouring.  Don’t be tempted to use turmeric for yellow colouration as with the curry powder it imparts too much of an earthy taste that will disrupt the spice balance)
One and a half Oxo Chicken Stock Cubes (yes, I know this sounds like you’re cheating, but it really draws all the other tastes together)
Black pepper

Put the marinade ingredients in a food processor, then whizz until almost smooth.  Taste (no raw chicken yet so quite safe to taste) and add more salt or chilli in the form of cayenne pepper, to taste.  You may not need to add any salt because of the stock cube and soy sauce.  Put the chicken in a food grade sealable plastic bag (such as the ones you buy for the freezer) or a non-metallic bowl, add the marinade, mix well and leave in the fridge to marinate for about 24 hours.  Alternatively freeze straight away and defrost before use.  BBQ over hot coals (you want to caramelise some of the sugars, e.g. from the chutney, in the marinade and seal the chicken quickly to keep it moist) but don’t blacken it or dry the chicken out.  Enjoy!


Jubilee coleslaw

In Greek and Roman times, the colour purple was associated with royalty, and only worn by emperors or senior members of the Senate, as it was so expensive to produce. It was made from milking sea-snails for a particular secretion which produced a purple dye – 12000 snails for one garment!

We had a few people round for a BBQ for the jubilee, so I decided our coleslaw should be purple in the Queen’s honour. You’ll be pleased to know I didn’t use sea snails to get the colour! It was really popular, so I promised to blog it – for those who came to the BBQ and demanded the recipe, here you go!

A kilo of carrots (you’re going for sweetness here, so fresh and preferably organic is good)
One red cabbage
Two onions. The onions are really important – you need to track down sweet onions. Tesco do some good ‘Finest’ ones which I used here. I can’t emphasise how much of a difference using sweet onions makes – this is really the secret ingredient!
An 800g jar of Hellmans mayonnaise – interestingly, the real version is diary-free (although does contain eggs) while the light version includes cream! Go figure…

Peel and grate the carrots, shred the cabbage, discarding the woodier sections near the base. A food processor is useful – Iris very much enjoyed watching the carrots get chopped! Then pulverise the onions. Yes, I do mean pulverise – even though they are sweet, you don’t want to get a surprise large chunk of onion. The finer you can get it, the more uniformly in is distributed. The grater attachment rather than the slicer on your food processor is ideal.

Chuck all the veg in a huge bowl (it will be mixing-bowl size), and stir in the mayo. You probably won’t use all of it, but just keep going until you are happy. I prefer mine reasonably dry. You’ll see that the purple colour of the cabbage leaches out and stains the mayo, making the whole thing purple. Fun, hey?

One of the kids, who, earlier, had been telling me she would rather never eat again than be vegetarian, just ate a whole bowl of it on its own. Must have been good, I guess! Serves about a million, so you might want to save this one for party time.

Happy Jubilee!