Nick Cullen fires up the barbie

My barbecue has seen its fair share of action already this year but this week we celebrate National Barbecue Week so it’s time to fire up the coals once again!

It’s sometimes difficult to come up with new and exciting things to cook on the BBQ – the staple sausages, burgers and veggie kebabs can become a bit tiresome after a while.

Barbecued chicken is a favourite of mine but it’s often overlooked in favour of meat and fish and can easily be overcooked if you take your eyes off the grill. Marinating it first helps to keep it moist as well as adding extra flavour.

My tandoori style chicken, marinated with yoghurt and spices, is perfect for this.

Although traditionally cooked in a clay oven, this recipe suits the barbeque just as well and really brings out the flavour and spices.

I’m not a fan of particularly hot or spicy food and prefer to use milder, sweeter flavours in my dishes instead, so a few years ago I adapted this traditional recipe to suit my own taste and it’s been a big hit on the restaurant menu ever since. As an added bonus, this dish is also low in fat and high in protein and suitable for all the family.

The chicken speaks for itself here so you don’t have to serve it with anything fancy - a crisp green salad keeps it light, or for a more substantial meal serve with a bowl of fluffy white rice.

Nick’s Tandoori Style Chicken

(serves 4-6)

For the marinade:

300g natural yoghurt

2 tbsp. ketchup

1 tbsp. honey

Juice of half a lemon

100g medium curry powder

1 tsp. turmeric

1tsp. dried coriander

½ tsp. natural red food colouring (optional)

Salt and pepper

For the mint yoghurt:

200g natural yoghurt

Fresh mint leaves, chopped

1 tbsp. mint sauce

6 chicken breasts

Lemon, cut into wedges

Fresh coriander to serve (optional)

Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a big bowl. Slice the chicken into strips and add to the bowl, making sure they are coated in the spice mixture. Leave to marinate in the fridge for at least six hours or overnight.

Cook the chicken pieces on the barbecue, being careful not to let the meat burn. Turn once or twice so that the meat is cooked evenly. Alternatively (if the weather is bad!), cook in a dry pan over a high heat for several minutes on each side, or under the grill. Check the meat is cooked all the way through before serving.

Meanwhile, mix a handful of chopped mint into the yoghurt and stir in the mint sauce. Chop the lemon into wedges.

Place the chicken on a large serving dish or divide between plates and decorate with the lemon wedges and mint yoghurt. Sprinkle with some fresh coriander and enjoy!