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Everyone loves barbecued chicken. It’s a feature of pretty much every barbecue all over the country. Here’s how to make it crisp on the outside and cooked in the middle, just the way it should be. – Jamie Oliver
Barbecue or grill pan
Microplane or grater
Plate Large spoon
1 dried chile
1 1⁄2 heaped teaspoons smoked paprika
1 1⁄2 teaspoons Dijon or English mustard
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons ketchup
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/16 teaspoon sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 x 5-ounce boneless skinless chicken breasts
To prepare your chicken
1. If barbecuing, light the grill now so the flames have died down and it’s ready when you’re ready to cook.
2. Finely grate the orange zest into a shallow bowl. Crumble in the dried chile. Add the paprika, mustard, honey, ketchup and a splash of olive oil. Season with a small pinch each of the salt and pepper and mix well. Spoon out a few tablespoons of the marinade and set it aside.
3. Add the chicken breasts to the bowl with the remaining marinade. Turn them over in the marinade so they’re well coated, cover with plastic wrap and leave to sit for 5 to 10 minutes or until the grill is ready.
To cook and serve your chicken
4. If using a grill pan, put it over high heat now to get it screaming hot.
5. Use tongs to transfer your chicken breasts onto the grill or grill pan. For chicken breasts about 1 inch thick, cook for about 5 minutes on each side, turning every minute and basting as you go, or until golden and cooked through. Spoon a little of the reserved sauce over each breast.
Jamie’s top tips
This marinade can be used on other lean proteins such as shrimp, pork tenderloin or flank steak. If the outside of the meat or fish looks a dry, brush a little of the marinade over it whilst cooking. When zesting citrus fruit, use a Microplane or similar zester so you only remove the colored zest without digging into the bitter white pith underneath.
When grilling you need to keep control the heat really carefully so the food cooks through properly before it starts burning on the outside. If your meat starts to char soon after putting it on the grill or in the pan, move it to a cooler part of the grill or turn the heat right down.
If you’re doing this on the stovetop, it will work best in a well-seasoned cast-iron or non-stick grill pan. It’s good to have one side of the barbecue with fewer coals so it’s cooler. The coals are ready when the flames have died down.
Lovely served with the Evolution potato salad and a fresh green salad, or delicious sliced in sandwiches in some good-quality bread. Add some leafy lettuce and sliced tomato to give it a good crunch.
Tips from the dietitian:
Citrus zest, including orange, lemon, and lime gives a dish loads of flavor without adding many calories. Chile also does the same job. Make your marinades ahead of time and store it in a jar so you don’t get tempted to use bottled sauces. Skinless chicken breasts are a lean protein – cook up some extras to use in sandwiches and salads for lunch.
Store raw meat and fish on the bottom shelf of your fridge, and food that’s ready to be eaten whether it’s salad, cheese, dairy or cooked food on the shelves above. This is so the juices from the raw foods can’t drip onto cooked foods and cross- contaminate them.
Use tongs to move the meat into the marinade and again into the pan. If you flip the meat with a spatula, be sure to wash it before you use it again to take the fillets out of the pan to avoid cross-contamination.
Adapted from ‘Jamie’s Food Revolution’
Recipe © Jamie Oliver
Photography © Dan Jones