medium chicken (about 1.5kg), spatchcocked
2 stalks lemongrass, kept whole
for the marinade
1 tsp black peppercorns
8 garlic cloves
large handful coriander stalks
1 stalk lemongrass, chopped
1 lime, juiced
3 tbsp thai fish sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
you will need
1 metal skewer
Crush the peppercorns using a pestle and mortar, then add the garlic and crush again. Add the coriander stalks and chopped lemongrass, and bash to a rough paste. Stir in the lime juice, fish sauce and sugar and mix until the sugar dissolves. Poke a metal skewer through the leg and breast on either side of the chicken, then replace with a lemongrass stalk. Sit the chicken in a dish and pour over the marinade – squelch it around so the bird is completely coated, then cover and chill in the fridge for as long as possible or overnight.
Remove the chicken from the fridge an hour before cooking. Set a lidded barbecue up for indirect cooking (see p54) with a foil drip tray on the coal-free side. When the coals are very hot, lay the chicken, bone-side down, over the coal-free side, with the legs closest to the coals.
Cover with the lid and arrange the vents for maximum air circulation. Cook the chicken for 50 mins-1 hr until a thermometer reads 70C (or a little higher) when stuck into the thickest part of the thigh or the juices run clear. Poke the coals about so they flare up again, then, using a pair of tongs, carefully flip the chicken, so it’s skin-side down over the coals. Cook until the skin has browned and the thermometer reads 75C. Lift onto a board, leave to rest for 10 mins, then remove the lemongrass and carve.