Grilled chicken with late-picked wine and cumquats

Grilled chicken with late-picked wine and cumquats
Grilled chicken with late-picked wine and cumquats Photo: Marina Oliphant

This is a good dish for a barbecue. The fire should be hot but not flaring, so the chicken pieces grill steadily rather than ferociously and develop a deep golden-brown crust.


1 x 2kg free-range chicken

For the marinade

6 cloves garlic, peeled

2 tsp salt

1 tsp black peppercorns, coarsely crushed

12 fresh cumquats

1/2 cup late-picked or other dessert wine

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

4 large carrots

4 shallots, very finely chopped


Detach chicken legs at thigh joint and divide into thighs and drumsticks. Cut wings away from collarbone. Divide breast fillets and then cut each fillet crosswise through the bone. With a sharp knife, make a few slashes in the skin side of each thigh and drumstick.

Pound garlic, salt and peppercorns to a paste in a large mortar. Add cumquats and pound lightly to a mash. Scrape paste into a small bowl and stir in wine and olive oil. Set aside about 1/3 cup of the mixture. Rub remaining marinade over the chicken and into the slashes. Marinate for an hour.

Meanwhile, peel and boil carrots, leaving them whole. Cook until still a bit resistant (maybe 10 minutes). Drain, cut carrots on the diagonal into big chunks and brush with extra virgin olive oil and set aside.

Preheat barbecue or griller to hot. Cook chicken for 8-10 minutes, taking care not to poke or move it. Turn carefully and cook the other side. The chicken will colour deeply due to the wine in the marinade.

Add carrots to the griller or barbecue once the chicken has been turned. Turn them after five minutes or so.

The chicken will take about 15-20 minutes in total. It is cooked when a skewer slips through the thickest part with no resistance. The carrots should develop a slightly caramelised exterior with scorch marks from the grill.

Transfer chicken and carrots to a heated platter. Strain the reserved cumquat mixture and drizzle juice over the chicken (reserve a few pieces of cumquat for the salad). Scatter with the very finely chopped shallots.

To serve 

Serve with a fennel salad (see Stephanie Alexander's recipe on