We take BBQing very seriously in this family. As soon as the temperature gets a little bit warmer, and there’s the slightest sniffter of sunshine, out comes the BBQ. Matt’s family don’t share the same passion – it has to be considerably warmer for them – but the Creelys are good to go at anything around the 17 degree mark. Even if the weather deteriorates after it’s lit, we will persevere. The gazebo will go up to protect from the rain, and the chiminea will come out as the sun goes down and the temperature cools.
Not only do we brave the elements to BBQ, but my Mum, being the amazing cook and host that she is, is never satisfied with just sticking on a few burgers and sausages. Of course, the burgers and sausages are there, but they are accompanied by an incredible spread of delights, which might include rotisserie chicken, chilli and garlic prawns, belly pork, feta and tomato parcels, fish, sweetcorn and plenty of salad.
My Mum also likes to extend her birthday for as long as possible, and although we visited the Fat Loaf on her actual birthday, and her boyfriend took her out the following night, she also managed to squeeze in a birthday BBQ at the weekend. I want to share with you one of the recipes from said BBQ, which comes from BBC Good Food. This is a Greek chicken kebab.
- 12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- zeast and juice 1 lemon
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp paprika
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- small bunch parsley, finely chopped
- In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the marinade, along with a good few pinches of salt and some pepper. Add the chicken thighs and mix everything together. Cover and chill overnight.
- Light a lidded barbecue, then let the flames die down. Once the coals have turned ashen, mound them up on one side. Thread the chicken thighs onto 2 metal skewers – so that both skewers go through each piece of meat – packing the thighs down so that they are really compact. Place the chicken kebab on the side without any coals underneath. Pop the lid down and cook for 45-55 mins, turning regularly, or until cooked through – prise the chicken pieces apart in the centre to check this. Cover the chicken with foil and leave to rest for 20 mins before slicing.
- Slice strips of chicken from the kebab and stuff into pittas, warmed on the barbecue. BBC Good Food recommend serving with Dill yoghurt sauce, tomato, red onion & cucumber salad, and crunchy lettuce – but the Dill yoghurt sauce could be swapped for some delicious homemade Tzatziki.