Neil Perry’s barbecued marinated chicken with spicy mayonnaise

Neil Perry
Barbecued chicken thighs with spicy mayo.
Barbecued chicken thighs with spicy mayo. Photo: William Meppem

This barbecue dish cooks for almost the entire time skin-down, so that it crisps. All you really need to do is seal the other side. I buy chicken bone in and skin on – it’s usually the only way to get skin on the thigh. I love this spicy mayonnaise on anything, including cold seafood – the salsa macha gives it a deep, roast flavour and a really good kick. You could add chilli paste or chopped fresh chillies instead.


8 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on

4 tbsp whole-egg mayonnaise

1 tsp salsa macha*

1 lemon, cut into wedges

For the marinade

2 garlic cloves, peeled

2 fresh long red chillies, seeds removed

zest of ½ lemon

1 handful flat-leaf parsley leaves

3 tbsp oregano leaves

extra virgin olive oil


1. To bone the chicken thighs, place each one skin-side down on a chopping board. With a small, sharp knife, cut along each side of the bone, working the knife under the bone. You should be able to remove it.

2. For the spicy mayonnaise, mix the mayonnaise and salsa together. (I like to add a little freshly squeezed lemon juice.)

3. To make the marinade, blend all the ingredients together until smooth, or pound the ingredients in a mortar with a pestle. Gradually incorporate just enough olive oil (about 2 tablespoons) to loosen the mixture.

4. Season to taste, coat the chicken in the marinade and set aside for about 1 hour at room temperature.

5. Heat the barbecue to hot and clean the grills well. Grill the chicken, skin-side down, for about 6 minutes until about three-quarters cooked through. Turn and cook for a further minute or two – the main cooking is done skin-side down to crisp it up. Remove and rest for 5 minutes.

6. Serve chicken thighs immediately, skin-side up and seasoned with ground pepper, accompanied by spicy mayonnaise and wedges of lemon.

Find more of Neil Perry's recipes in the Good Food New Classics cookbook.

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*You can order salsa macha chilli paste online from Fireworks Foods.