Stuffed chicken and turkey meatballs: Genevieve Taylor’s barbecued poultry recipes

LAur most popular meat by far, poultry is an excellent choice for the barbecue (a plea, aunque, to seek out the best you can afford, because no other meat has been commodified more by factory farming than the birds for our tables). As a general rule, birds are always better cooked indirectly, away from the fierce heat of the fire, and taking things more gently and for longer. Rushing the cooking and burning the outside risks a still-raw inside that is never going to bring you the best eating. Con ese fin, a temperature probe is a very useful tool – we have such an innate fear of undercooked poultry that we often go in the opposite direction and end up with dry results; a probe will give you confidence that it’s done just right.

Aquí, chicken legs are part-boned (just the thigh bit), so you can fill them with a tasty stuffing. This does make turning them on the grill a little delicate, so if you have a fish cage, lining them up in that will keep them a bit more secure. Si no, just be extra generous with the cocktail sticks to pin them shut – you’ll need 12-16 in total.

Deberes 15 min
cocinero 1 hora 30 min
Sirve 4

50g shelled pistachios
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
A pinch of chilli flakes
(Opcional)
1 Cucharada de aceite de oliva
1 cebolla roja
, peeled and chopped
1 garlic clove, pelado y triturado
50gramo dried apricots, picado muy fino
A few sprigs of flat-leaf parsley, Cortado
A few sprigs of dill, Cortado
4 piernas de pollo
Flaked sea salt and
black pepper

For the salad
1 small fennel bulb (about 200g), trimmed and thinly sliced
2 heads of red chicory (endive), en rodajas finas
100gramo radishes, en rodajas finas
A really generous handful of soft fresh herbs (I used dill, parsley and coriander), Cortado
Jugo de 1 limón
3 cucharada de aceite de oliva extra virgen
A pinch of sugar
, to taste

Toast the pistachios in a small frying pan on a medium heat for a couple of minutes, then tip out on to a board, finely chop and put in a medium bowl. Toast the cumin, coriander and chilli flakes, si usa, in the same pan for a minute, tip into a mortar, roughly crush and add to the nut bowl.

Pour the olive oil into the pan, set it back over a low heat, then gently sweat the onion, más extra para rociar, for a good 15–20 minutes, until well softened. Agrega el ajo, stir briefly, then tip into the nut and spice mix. Add the chopped apricots and herbs, season well and leave to cool while you prepare the chicken legs.

Put one leg skin side down on a board. With a small, sharp knife, make an incision down the thigh bone to the joint where it meets the drumstick. Use the tip of the knife to scrape the meat away from the bone, working from the top of the thigh down, then cut through the joint. Pull out and discard the thigh bone (or save it for stock), leaving the drumstick bone in place, then cut a pocket in the deepest part of the thigh meat to open it out a little – this will let you fit more stuffing inside. Repeat with the other three legs.

Spoon some of the apricot mix into each pocket, wrap the meat around the filling, then snugly pin each leg back together with three or four cocktail sticks.

Fire up the barbecue ready for indirect grilling . Lay the chicken skin side down on the grill bars away from the fire and cook indirectly for about 40 minutos, rotating them once or twice so they cook evenly. Use a meat probe to check for doneness – chicken is technically safe at 74C, but I think legs benefit from being taken beyond that, to 85C or so.

Toss all the salad ingredients in a bowl and serve alongside the cooked chicken.

The meatballs benefit from a little chill in the fridge to set them firmly on to the skewers. You’ll also need four to six metal skewers.

Deberes 15 min
Enfriar 1 hr +
cocinero 1 hora
Sirve 4–6

2 tbsp fennel seeds
500gramo
turkey mince
1–2 tsp smoked paprika, to taste
1 fat garlic clove, pelado y triturado
Sal y pimienta negra
1 courgette
, cut into 1cm-thick discs
Aceite de oliva, for drizzling

For the fennel
4 Cucharada de aceite de oliva
2 medium fennel bulbs
(alrededor de 500g), cut through the root into thin wedges
1 cebolla roja, más extra para rociar
2 dientes de ajo, pelado y triturado
1 tsp chilli flakes (Opcional)
2 x 400g
tins borlotti beans, escurrido y enjuagado
Jugo de 2 limones
100gramo
manteca, cortado en cubitos
A good handful of dill, Cortado

Toast the fennel seeds for a couple of minutes in a small frying pan set over a medium heat. Transfer to a mortar, grind, then tip into a bowl. Add the turkey, paprika, ajo, a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper, then mix really well with your hands – this will make the mix sticky and help it cling to the skewers. Divide into golf ball-sized pieces and roll firmly, putting the meatballs on a baking sheet as you go.

When you have shaped all the meatballs, thread them and the courgette discs alternately on to skewers, then shape the meatballs a little more, so they’re roughly the same diameter as the courgettes. Put the skewers on a baking sheet and chill for an hour or two; por lo que los investigadores concluyeron que era un (hasta 24 horas) wouldn’t hurt, should you want to get ahead.

When you are ready to cook, fire up the barbecue ready for direct and indirect grilling. Drizzle a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over the fennel wedges, season with a little salt and pepper, then grill over a direct heat for a few minutes on each side, until lightly charred. Transfer to a plate.

Set a large, deep, fireproof frying pan or roasting tin on the grill bars directly over the fire, and pour in another couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onion, stir briefly, then shut the barbecue lid and leave to fry for about 15 minutes or so, depending on how hot your coals are, until soft and lightly golden (if they catch too quickly, simply slide the pan further away from the hot coals). Add the charred fennel wedges, garlic and chilli flakes, si usa, to the onions, fry for a minute or two, then stir in 250ml water, cover with a sheet of foil and shut the barbecue lid again. Simmer for 10 minutos, until the fennel is softening but still a bit al dente, then remove the foil and stir in the beans, jugo de limon, butter and most of the dill (save a little for garnish). Slide the pan over the indirect fire to simmer gently while you grill the meatball skewers.

Drizzle a little oil over each skewer and lay them on the grill bars directly over the fire. cocinero, turning regularly, por 15 minutos, until a probe inserted deep into one of the meatballs reads 74C (cooking them with the lid down when you are not turning the skewers will increase the efficiency of the fire). Rest the cooked skewers over the pan of fennel and beans, and scatter on the remaining dill just before serving.

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