All this time I have been hidden under a rock from the deliciousness of Charcoal Chicken!
My first taste of charcoal chicken was at ’On Fire’ in Padstow. It was love at first taste with the garlic sauce.
The combination of chicken and garlic sauce, chips and garlic sauce, tabouli and garlic sauce… garlic sauce and garlic sauce was an explosion in my mouth.
My next exposure was at El Jannah’s, this place should ring a bell with most.
To save myself the trip as these places are a bit of a trek, I found you can buy garlic sauce in tubs – but only at certain stores.
I figured I have to make my own garlic sauce to cure this addiction!
There were several recipes, and I was astounded at how much oil was used! Not to burst anyone’s bubble but do eat it at moderation (instead of with everything like I have been).
It only calls for a few inexpensive ingredients and makes a HUGE amount!
I based the recipe from a Lebanese blog, thinking this would be most authentic. After making it, I realised, the amount from the blog must be for an entire Lebanese family of 20+ because there is an endless tub of garlic sauce in my fridge now.
Even though I could have just made the sauce to dip my fingers and lick away, I figured I’ll go for the whole shebang and have charcoal chicken, tabouli and chips with it.
I contemplated being super lazy and buy roast chicken from Coles but if I did that, I would have also bought chips and tabouli. So I said ‘no’ to store-bought and the only thing that I didn’t make from scratch is the leb bread.
I cringe at making anything doughy or pastry – one of the fears I will eventually have to get over, I know.
Alrighty here we go garlic sauce! Get ready for really garlicky smell on your hands and clothes!
I have never peeled so much garlic in my life!
3 bulbs of fresh garlic peeled (I found if you first chop the ends, then crush it with the flat side of a knife, the skin comes off much easier).
4-5 cups of canola/sunflower/vegetable oil (do not use olive oil as the flavours will be too nutty).
juice of one lemon.
1 egg white (this was not in the original recipe but I found it helps to gel it altogether like mayonnaise).
1 teaspoon of salt.
1) place garlic cloves and salt into a food processor and process until garlic is finely chopped
2) add half a cup of oil in a thin stream and process until a paste forms
3) add a teaspoon of lemon juice and continue processing.
4) repeat alternating every half cup oil with one teaspoon lemon juice.
*After I processed about 2 cups of oil, I realised it wasn’t forming into that light creamy texture probably because my blender is quite large and it was just sticking to the sides instead of being blended. I was getting really frustrated because I didn’t’ want to peel another 3 bulbs of garlic again… So I changed the strategy and it worked like magic.
changing it to electric beaters
4) transfer to a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric beater on high.
5) slowly pour in one egg white whilst still beating.
6) continue beating the remainder of the oil and lemon juice alternating between batches.
Depending on your taste buds, if it’s still very garlicky add more oil (I ended up using 4 cups).
Here is a small portion of what was made.
Okay, so they are not really charcoal cooked even though I finished them off by placing under the grill to let those spices on the skin crisp up to some kind of black shade to resemble the charcoal look.
For the sake of this dinner let’s just call them charcoal chicken.
2 maryland chicken washed and pat dried with paper towel
all purpose seasoning
1) liberally sprinkle cayenne pepper, garlic powder and all purpose seasoning over the chicken.
2) drizzle over olive oil and give the chicken a good rub.
3) wrap up the chicken and keep it in the fridge for at least 2 hours for the flavours to absorb.
4) preheat oven to 200C.
5) place chicken in a roasting pan and bake for 40 minutes.
6) turn on grill and allow skin to darken and crisp up, about 3 minutes.
7) drain oil on a paper towel with skin side up.
so crispy on the skin and tender on the inside
I also want to rave about how I am also addicted to Tabouli since going to ‘On Fire’.
It’s not that I haven’t had tabouli before, must be the combination of all those elements combined that makes it so addictive!
Oh and the lemon in tabouli – I love that tangy lemon taste!
3 tablespoon quinoa (I prefer quinoa to burghul the cracked wheat usually used in tabouli, less carbs and I use quinoa more often).
1 bunch parsley washed and air dried well, stalks removed.
4 sprigs of mint washed and air dried well, stalks removed.
quarter of a small onion finely diced.
1 tomato finely diced and drained of moisture (I took out the seed bits as it’s too watery).
juice of one lemon.
2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.
pinch of : cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger powder, salt, black pepper.
love fresh ingredients
1) in a small saucepain bring quinoa and 7 tablespoons of water to boil then over medium heat let it cook and absorb the water, drain and allow to cool.
1) finely chop parsley and mint leaves.
2) mix spices with onion.
3) combine and mix quinoa, leaves, onion, tomato, lemon juice and oil.
4) serve immediately.
Say ‘no’ to store bought chips because these are too easy to make and you can add any seasoning you like!
2 large potatoes, washed and dried.
olive oil spray.
dried tarragon or mixed herbs.
1) cut the potatoes into wedges let it dry in a strainer with a paper towel lined.
2) spray oil over potatoes.
3) dust plain flour over the potatoes.
4) sprinkle herbs and season with salt.
5) place potatoes a tray sprayed with oil.
5) preheat oven to 200C and roast for 40 minutes (same as the chicken).
…. And Charcoal Chicken with lots of garlic sauce is ready to be devoured!
Charcoal Chicken feast
wrapped up yumminess