James St Recipes: Spice up your barbecue this weekend with some veg

Niall McKenna helps us with our barbecues for this weekend's heatwave

Butterflied chicken with lemon and rosemary
Butterflied chicken with lemon and rosemary

WITH the change in the weather and all supermarkets selling fresh summer produce and outdoor furniture, it’s a great time to get outside and get the barbecue fired up.

Anyone who has come to our barbecue cookery class knows that the vegetables play as important a part as the meat – and once you know a couple of good side vegetables and dressings you really can create the perfect barbecue spread.

For this week’s recipes we have put together some barbecue leeks with chicken. These go well together and can be easily replicated.

We have a host of outdoor cooking classes available during the summer months including Introduction to BBQ, Pizza-Making, Cooking in a Wood-Burning Oven, and our Masterclass BBQ Class on a Saturday.

Follow this link for more information:


(Serves 4)

One large chicken, butterflied

3 cloves garlic

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp fresh black pepper

2 lemons

2 tbsp olive oil

1 handful rosemary leaves

Vegetable oil for BBQ

Sea salt


To butterfly the chicken, place it breast side down on a chopping board, and using a good pair of kitchen scissors, cut along both sides of the backbone from the tail to the neck. Remove the backbone, turn the chicken over, and using the palm of your hand, press down on the breastbone to break it.

Cut the skin connecting the thighs and the body and bend the thighs outwards, breaking the joints. The chicken should now lay flat and cook evenly.

For the marinade for the chicken, mix the garlic, cumin and pepper together to make a smooth paste. Grate the zest of the lemons finely, and add to the mixture with the juice, olive oil, rosemary and garlic. Mix to combine the ingredients.

Smear the mixture over the chicken on both sides, cover in clingfilm, and place in the fridge for 2-4 hours to marinade.

When ready to cook you can preheat your oven to 180 °C or use a Big Green Egg or the barbecue. If cooking in the oven, remove from the fridge, season with salt and pepper, and place in the oven – basting from time to time with the juices. Place breast side down and turn over after 15 minutes.

If cooking in the barbecue or Big Green Egg, make sure that you do not burn your bird and that you are cooking on white hot coals. The chicken will need to be turned off and will cook in less time as it has been butterflied.

Barbecue leeks
Barbecue leeks


(Serves 2)

2 leeks

200g butter

100ml sherry vinegar

6 sprigs thyme


Ground black pepper


The leeks are cooked and charred on a barbecue first, and then finished off in the oven. Start by placing the leeks on the side of a hot barbecue, grilling on a high heat. Turn over after 20 minutes. Once charred remove from the heat. Remove the charred exterior when cool.

Place on a baking tray and preheat your oven to 180 °C.

Take the butter and melt on the hob in a pan, add in the thyme and vinegar, and stir. Pour over the leeks, pop into the oven, and cook for 8 minutes. Remove and serve.

Can be served with grated pecorino cheese.