It was a great evening with family and a few dear family friends. My dad hates fuss, especially when it comes to himself and his birthday. So my sister and I tried to make the evening as fuss free and relaxed as possible.
We started with simple canapes, sparkling wine for the girls and beer for the boys.
|Watermelon and feta squares|
|Homemade walnut crisps with goat's cheese and pear|
from Gourmet Traveller's Annual Cookbook
I used two whole chickens for 10 people
|Char-grilled chicken marinated in lemon, cayenne|
pepper, thyme, garlic and white peppercorns
1 chicken (about 1.8kg)
2 tbsp thyme
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 tsp white peppercorns
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup olive oil
1 bunch spring onions, trimmed
You need to spatchcock the chicken. To do this cut down each side of the chicken's backbone with kitchen scissors or a sharp knife (discard bone of reserve for stock). Turn chicken over and press firmly on the breastbone to open out and flatten. I have actually found it helpful to slightly cut the bone on the non-skin side to help you flatten the bird. It is really important to do this so you can cook the meat more evenly on the barbecue. Score the thickest part of the breasts and thighs.
You can process the marinade in a food processor, however, I find pounding it in a mortar and pestle not only helps me relieve the tension built up from frustrating real estate agents, but it also produces a far richer flavour. Place thyme, garlic, cayenne pepper, lemon rind in your mortar and pestle and pound to your heart is content…or until you have a coarse paste. Place peppercorns in a spice grinder and grind. Add the white pepper, lemon juice and olive oil to your paste, mix together.
Pour marinade over chicken, rub into every little crevasse as the lemon will start the cooking process and make your meat lovely and tender. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to marinate in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.
When ready to cook, drain the chicken and char-grill, turning frequently and basting with the marinade until golden and cooked through. Add the spring onions to the hot plate at the end and char-grill for about 2 to 3 minutes until wilted. The spring onions are a fantastic edition to any barbecue.
|The char-grilled chicken with spring|
onions on top
I doubled this recipe for 10 people
|Corn salad with buttermilk dressing|
3 corn cobs
1 baby cos
1 cup mint, roughly chopped
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and blanched
1 punnet cherry tomatoes
100 ml buttermilk
2 tbsp sour cream
2 tbsp mayonnaise
50 ml lemon juice
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 small garlic clove, crushed
Get your barbecue on so you can cook the corn and allow it to cool before you do anything else.
Once corn is cool enough to handle, cut the kernels from the cob and please in a bowl. Separate and coarsely tear cos leaves, add to corn along with cherry tomatoes, asparagus and mint.
To make the dressing, whisk all ingredients in a bowl until smooth, season to taste, refrigerate until required. Just before serving the meal, drizzle a little of the dressing over the salad, tossing to combine. Leave the rest in a dish for people to add more if they like.
The best part...we even got leftovers the next day.
|Char-grilled chicken and salad leftovers|