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Harry Weir and Brian Clarke

Smoked BBQ Chicken With Sweetcorn Salsa

This recipe created by chef John Relihan for FOOD&WINE is perfect for summer.


This recipe created by chef John Relihan for FOOD AND WINE is perfect for summer.

"The brine and the rub really bring out the flavours of the meat. Buy good free-range chicken if you can – it makes all the difference." – John Relihan

Yield: Serves 5


  • 2 whole chickens
  • 3 limes
  • 30g coriander garnish
  • 50g butter

For the herb brush:

  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Sage

(Tie all herbs together with butcher string on a wooden spoon)

For the chicken brine:

  • 1 litre water
  • 50g flaked sea salt
  • 1 lime, halved
  • 20g fresh thyme
  • 20g fresh rosemary
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 6g peppercorns
  • 6g coriander seeds
  • 10g coriander stems

For the chicken rub:

  • 80g smoked sweet paprika
  • 5g ground coriander
  • 5g flaked sea salt
  • 4g granulated onion
  • 4g granulated garlic
  • 8g dried oregano
  • 4g cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 a bay leaf, smashed
  • 1 lime, zest only

For the chargrilled corn salsa:

  • 1 cooked corn grilled
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 15g coriander
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 15ml pomace oil
  • 5g salt
  • 5g pepper


  1. For the rub, place all of the ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Your rub is now ready to use.
  2. Place all the brine ingredients into a container. Place the whole chicken into the liquid, cover with cling film and leave in the fridge overnight or for up to 24 hours. Dry off the chicken and cover all over with the rub mixture, including the bird’s cavity.
  3. Get your smoker or BBQ up to 120°C/gas mark ½, place on the grill, cover and cook for 3-4 hours. Check that the temperature of the chicken reaches 75°C (I use a meat probe). I like to use fruit wood like cherry, sweet chestnut or maple with chicken.
  4. Baste the chicken after one hour with the herb brush.  When cooked, let it sit to relax the meat until you are ready to serve. Finish with the limes, coriander and some butter.
  5. To make the salsa, grill the corn fully on the BBQ grill, remove the kernels with a knife and place in a bowl.
  6. Dice the red onion, coriander, deseeded chilli and add to the corn.
  7. Mix the lime juice and oil together and add to the mix. Season with the salt and pepper and adjust with the lime juice if it requires more sharpness.

TIP: While cooking the chicken baste in the herb brush and butter to keep the chicken extra juicy.