BBQ chicken with salbitxada sauce

Bill Grangers chicken recipe is a taste of hot Spanish sun, served with a delicious Catalan sauce of tomatoes, almonds and garlic
By Bill Granger
BBQ chicken with salbitxada sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes plus 1 hour marinating
  • Effort: easy


For the chicken

  • 1 X 1.5 kg chicken
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 125 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp orange juice

For the salbitxada sauce

  • 3 tomatoes, peeled, seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 1 roasted red pepper, peeled, diced
  • 30 g blanched almonds, , toasted, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dried red chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 125 ml extra virgin olive oil

For the couscous and pea salad

  • 225 g couscous
  • 375 ml chicken stock
  • pinches saffron
  • 150 g fresh peas
  • 1 red pepper, seeds removed, diced
  • 100 g green olives, pitted, chopped

For the salad dressing

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar


1. For the chicken: remove the backbone from the chicken by cutting either side of the bone. Flatten out with the palm of your hand, then slash the chicken breast in a few places on each side with a sharp knife. Place the chicken into a dish, cover and set aside in the fridge.

2. Pound the garlic, chilli, coriander seeds and salt to a paste together in a mortar. Transfer the paste to a bowl. Heat the olive oil in a pan until shimmering, then carefully pour the oil over the paste. Add the sherry vinegar, lime juice and orange juice and mix well to combine. Season with freshly ground black pepper, then pour half of the mixture over the chicken and leave to marinate in the fridge for one hour.

3. For the salbitxada sauce: place all of the salbitxada ingredients, except for the olive oil, into a bowl. Heat the olive oil in a pan until shimmering, then carefully pour over the tomato mixture. Pulse to a chunky puree in a food processor.

4. For the couscous and pea salad: place the couscous into a large heatproof bowl. Bring the stock and saffron to the boil in a pan, then pour over the couscous, cover the bowl with cling film and leave to soak for five minutes. Fluff up the grains with a fork, then stir in the red pepper, peas and olives.

5. For the dressing: whisk together the olive oil, lemon and orange juices and sherry vinegar. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the couscous, then set aside for 20-30 minutes. Stir in the parsley.

6. Heat a barbecue to a high heat. Place the chicken cut-side down on the rack, close the lid and cook for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. (If not using a barbecue, preheat the oven to 220C/gas mark 7 and cook for 30 minutes, or until cooked through.)

7. To serve, spoon the couscous onto serving plates. Carve the chicken into thick slices and divide between the plates, then serve the salbitxada sauce alongside

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