Finally.... a new recipe! I apologise for being lazy but I've just been so busy enjoying the summer :) I've just come back from Tuscany in Italy and what an amazing time we had! This is our second time there and we absolutely love it. We love the country, the nature, the food, the wine and just how the place makes us feel. When you are there you are just relaxed, everything happens at a different pace then in the busy big cities that most of us live in. I did some cooking while I was there, of course, and I will show you some pictures and maybe a recipe or two to go with them :)
But onto this recipe. I went to my local farmers market in Alexandra Palace recently and bought some beautiful vegetables, and when you get fresh amazing ingredients you don't really need to do much to them and that's what I did this time. Quick, easy, fresh and healthy.... perfect for this time a year.
So, onto the chicken. My family loves a bbq sauce, especially the kids. It's sweet and sticky and it makes everything that you put on the barbecue taste so good! I never buy ready made bbq sauces, it is so simple to make your own and you only need a few ingredients really. I did make a bit more effort this time but sometimes I don't bother, I just mix ketchup, vinegar and some sweetness like honey, maple syrup or brown sugar, a bit of Dijon mustard, salt and pepper and slather it on what I'm cooking. This time I went a bit to the Asian side with some ginger and a little heat. You can adjust the sauce to your liking. Some like it sweeter, some want more "tang" from the vinegar or even a bit more heat. It's completely up to you.
I used boneless chicken thighs but this works with chicken breasts or any other cuts of chicken. I just love the thighs because they are full of flavour and cook quite quickly. So I won't be giving you any cooking times, you just cook your chicken until nice and juicy on the inside and sticky on the outside and I love when the edges are a bit burnt.
1 kg boneless chicken thighs
250 ml ketchup
50 ml red wine vinegar (you can use other types such as white wine or cider vinegar)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
1-2 tablespoon sesame oil, careful not to put to much because it can easily overpower the sauce
3 tablespoons honey. I recently discovered coconut nectar syrup and I used it this time. It doesn't taste of coconut at all.
1 large clove of garlic or two small
Thumb size piece of ginger
Put all the ingredients for the sauce in a saucepan and grate the ginger and garlic into it. Let this simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes or until it has thickened a bit. Taste the sauce and add more soy, vinegar or sweetener or what ever you feel it needs. I didn't put any salt and pepper because the soy is quite salty and the chilli sauce was enough heat for my liking. Pour the sauce over the chicken, I like using a zip lock bag and massage the chicken with the sauce to get it everywhere. You don't really need to leave it to marinade but it doesn't do it any harm. You can leave it over night if you want, it only makes it better.
I love using my charcoal barbecue even though I have got a nice gas barbecue. You just can't get the same flavour into the food. Cook the chicken on a barbecue of your choice or pop it in a very hot oven (220°-230°) for 20-30 minutes but watch it closely so it doesn't burn.
it's always a good idea to keep putting the marinade on the meat as you are grilling it
Tomatoes of your choice. I used some beautiful mixed tomatoes, yellow, red and all shapes and sizes. I even put in some tomatillos
white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper
It doesn't get more summery than this!
I didn't put any measurements her because you kind of need to find out how much you want of each ingredient. For a bowl of tomatoes for the four of us I used half a small red onion and 3 tablespoons of vinegar. Start by finely slice the onion and pour over the vinegar. It should cover all of the onion. Let that sit for a few minutes while you prepare the tomatoes. Chop them up any way you like, be brave and cut them all in different shapes and sizes :) Pour the liquid of the onions and mix them in with the tomatoes. Mix together good quality extra virgin olive oil and a bit of the liquid from the onion. The ratio I use is 1 part vinegar to 2 parts oil. And 2-3 tablespoons of oil should be enough for a salad to feed 4. Pour the dressing over the tomatoes and onion slices, season with a little bit of salt and pepper and sprinkle fresh basil over the top. I like using the Greek basil, the leaves are nice and delicate for a summer salad like this.
Beautiful Greek Basil
Quick pickled courgettes
2 small Courgettes
50 ml white wine vinegar
1-2 teaspoons honey or caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Slice the courgettes finely with a vegetable peeler or mandolin. Put into a bowl with the vinegar, sugar and salt and leave for at least 10 minutes. You can do this in advance but 10 minutes is just fine. Remove from the liquid when you want to serve.
So, this is it, easy, summery and great for a party. Very easy to make large portions for a barbecue party or a picnic. Happy summer!
My son Kristofer loves to help with the cooking
Happy little boy showing off his pickled courgettes :)