Having missed what sounds like one of the best Kiwi summers in many years, I’m trying to make up for all the missed BBQs and Kiwi al fresco dining with this recipe below.

Still buzzing from an exciting Asian holiday, I have kept with the theme again this week – with a simple lemongrass and chilli-stuffed BBQ chicken. Vegetarians and non-chicken lovers, I promise there will be something for you in the coming weeks! Enjoy this subtle taste of Asia on your BBQ.

PREP TIME: 12 mins

COOK TIME: 40 mins

SERVES: 6-8 people


6-8 free-range whole chicken whole leg& thighs with skin on (see photo for which piece I mean)

100g softened butter (not melted)

2 stalks of lemongrass

2 chillis

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 good handful fresh coriander, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt


1/4 cup of lime juice

3 tablespoons fish sauce

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon garlic, minced


Fresh coriander chopped

Fresh chilli chopped


1. Firstly, peel the outer layer of the lemongrass off. Slice off the end (about 2mm from white end) and slice as thinly as you can and You then need to chop the lemongrass as small as you can so you do not get chewy woody clumps in your chicken.

2. Dice your chilli into small pieces also. Combine the butter, lemongrass, chilli, garlic, coriander and salt and mix thoroughly.

3. Next is the messy part. Down the longest flat side of the chicken, gently lift the skin and slide your fingers under skin separating the skin from the flesh, but ensuring the sides do not tear in which case you will lose all your stuffing. Push back in as far as you can.

4. Next take about a tablespoon of the butter mix and stuff it under the skin, trying to spread evenly across the flesh. Repeat with all the chicken pieces. If there is any butter mix left over you can try and stuff the smaller leg part of the chicken also with a similar technique.

5. Cover chicken and pop in the fridge to let the butter harden.

6. When you are nearing time to BBQ, turn the hot plate side to a medium heat (using the grill side will lead to the chicken burning as the melting butter will catch on fire).

7. Pop a little oil on the BBQ and put your chicken skin side-down for about 10 mins until it gets a good colour. I then turn it over and close the lid, checking quickly a couple of times it’s not burning. Cook for about 25-30 more minutes. Before removing from BBQ, I often check one piece by slicing into the joint to ensure it’s cooked.

8. Meanwhile combine all the ingredients for the sauce and pop in a pan and boil for 2-3 mins. Set aside.

9. Take your chicken off the BBQ and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Just before serving, pour over the sauce and garnish with the coriander and chilli.