The amount of garlic in the marinade may seem a little excessive at first, but please do try it, as the sweet, delicate flavor is simply fantastic. You don’t want to lose this by burning it, so it is really important to grill these skewers over a gentle heat. This is a great recipe to make ahead, as you can confit the garlic cloves a day or two in advance of making the marinade, and marinate the chicken for up to 48 hours before cooking.
Make 6 skewers
skinless, boneless chicken thighs 800g, cut into large pieces (or left whole if oven-roasting)
For the confit garlic
garlic 1-2 heads, broken into cloves but unpeeled (about 150g)
vegetable oil 100ml
For the marinade
confit garlic cloves 1 set (see above)
candied garlicky oil 3-4 tbsp (see aboveleft)
parsley 1 small bunch, chopped
flaky sea salt 1 heaped tsp
freshly ground black pepper a few twists
lemon zest of ½ (use the juice on the cooked chicken shish)
For the confit garlic, place the unpeeled garlic cloves in a small pan or metal tray and cover with the oil. You may need a touch more, depending on the size of the pan – it should be enough to just cover the cloves. Set on the side of the grill where there is the lowest heat (or set it over a very low heat on the stove) and slowly bring to a boil. Once bubbles start to appear, cook for 10 minutes, then remove from the heat and set aside in the pan to soften and cool entirely. You can store the cooled garlic and oil in the fridge for up to 48 hours before using.
To make the marinade, lift the cooled cloves out of the oil (retaining it for later) and squeeze to pop the flesh out of the skins and into a small bowl. Discard the skins. Use the back of a spoon to smash the confit garlic into a pulp, then stir in the chopped parsley, salt, pepper, lemon zest and 3-4 tablespoons of the garlicky oil. Pour over the chicken pieces, mix well to coat, then thread the meat on to skewers. Place in the fridge and leave to marinate for anything from 1 hour to 48 hours.
When you are ready to cook, get the barbecue nice and mellow. Grill the skewers for 5 minutes on one side, then flip and cook for 5 minutes on the other side. Dab any remaining marinade or, if there’s none left, some garlicky confit oil on the chicken, then flip once more and cook for a final 5 minutes. Remove from the grill and squeeze the lemon juice all over them before serving.
From Honey & Co. Chasing Smoke by Sarit Packer & Itamar Srulovich (HarperCollins£26)