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Barbecue lemongrass and coconut white sauce chicken

Conjour up the flavours and aromas of the American Deep South in your back garden, with this easy and super delicious Alabama-inspired recipe

This recipe from chef Matt Burgess, via the award-winning Somerset-based Coombe Farm Organic, is based on Alabama white sauce (a mayonnaise vinegar-based sauce). It uses the Southern technique of cooking directly over hot coals, charring the chicken, plunging back into the white sauce, then placing back onto the grill, to create a marvellously moreish caramelised/ burnt coating or ‘bark’. Matt’s ingenious idea of brushing/basting the chicken with lemongrass sticks adds yet another delicious dimension.

TIME: 30 mins to prepare; 40 mins to cook.



  • 4 x 250g organic chicken legs
  • 500g coconut milk
  • 2 sticks lemongrass cut into 2cm sticks
  • juice of 3 limes
  • 10g salt


  • First make a lemongrass brush by slicing off half a centimetre of the woody end of one stick and bashing the end with a rolling pin/hammer until it frays. Using this to brush/baste the chicken will coat it with natural lemongrass oil.
  • Place the coconut milk and remaining lemongrass into the pan and bring to boil on a medium flame, reducing so as not to boil over, and cook until it’s the same consistency as double cream (around 8 mins).
  • Add the salt and lime juice.
  • Remove the chicken from the fridge, slash the skin side with 3-4 cuts and let it come to room temperature.
  • Pat dry with a kitchen towel, set up the barbecue for direct cooking over coals or wood, your target temperature should be 200-250°C.
  • Place chicken legs directly on the grill, skin side down. Once nicely charred, turn over the leg, take your lemongrass brush and baste the skin side liberally, the fire may flare up and sizzle, don’t worry – this is creates the flavour.
  • Keep repeating this process on both sides, once both sides have a good char, plunge chicken into the white sauce, keep cooking until the chicken is cooked (around 30 minutes). If the chicken is becoming too charred move it away from the fire and close the barbecue lid. If you have a meat probe, internal temp should be over 70°C
  • Finish the chicken legs by leaving to rest in drizzles of the coconut white sauce (reserve a little beforehand so that you’re not drizzling with sauce which has been in contact with raw chicken). Sprinkle over your favourite garnish, like spring onions and chilli flakes, coriander or Thai basil.

Check out Coombe Farm Organic’s range of grass-fed, organic meat for the barbecue here.


We’re giving away TWO Large Organic Barbecue Boxes, each worth £94, HERE.

Find more ideas here

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