Barbecued chicken with cumin, coriander, lemongrass and ginger

Neil Perry
This marinade works with any meat (especially chicken, pictured).
This marinade works with any meat (especially chicken, pictured). Photo: William Meppem

This is a fantastic marinade to have in your tool kit – it pretty much goes with any kind of meat and fish.


4 large free-range chicken breasts, skin on and winglet attached

freshly ground black pepper

lime wedges, to serve

For the marinade

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2 lemongrass stems, outer husk removed, thinly sliced

3cm ginger, peeled and chopped

2 tsp toasted cumin seeds: crush half into a powder, and leave the remainder whole

2 tbsp coriander seeds: crush half into a powder, and leave the remainder whole

1 tsp sea salt

¼ cup chopped coriander leaves

¼ cup chopped mint leaves

60ml extra virgin olive oil, plus extra, to serve


1. For the marinade, put the garlic, lemongrass, ginger, cumin and coriander seeds (both crushed and whole) and salt in a mortar and pound into a rough paste with a pestle. Add the fresh herbs and pound for a further minute, then stir in the olive oil and mix well. If you're using a food processor or blender, don't make the paste too smooth.

2. Spread the marinade evenly over the chicken and leave for at least an hour before cooking.

3. Preheat the barbecue and make sure the grill bars are clean. When hot, put the chicken skin-side down on the hottest part of the barbecue. Cook for about six minutes on each side, longer if the breasts are thick. Remove from heat and place on a platter and cover with foil. Rest in a warm place for 10 minutes.

4. Place each breast on a large plate, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, add a good grind of black pepper and serve with lime wedges. For a great meal, add a Thai-style salad and steamed rice.

Serve with a Thai-style green pawpaw salad and steamed rice.

Find more of Neil Perry's recipes in the Good Food Favourite Recipes cookbook.

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