Grilled Ginger Chicken includes chilli, whose active ingredient is known as capsaicin. Capsaicin attaches to the TRPV-1 receptors in your mouth to provide the hot feeling. Capsaicin impacts the neuroendocrine system as a mild stimulant, increasing the production of energy and even improving utilisation of stored body fat. TRPA1 is a receptor discovered on cells all-round the body that capsaicin from chili binds to, causing that spicy sensation. Receptors often have a number of roles depending on the place they are in the body and TRPA1 is also responsible for maintaining body temperature and pain sensitivity and is now being used as a target for pain relief, especially in cases of joint pain.
Serves 4 as an appetiser or 2 as a main dish
- 1kg chicken on the bone: legs, thighs, drumsticks
- A little olive oil
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds, to dress
- Half a lemon, to serve
For the marinade paste
- 3 tbsp ginger paste
- 2 tbsp garlic paste
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger sliced into matchsticks
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp chilli powder
- Salt and pepper
Combine all the marinade ingredients in a big bowl, season well. Score the chicken pieces with a sharp knife to a depth of 5mm and put the marinade into the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours (overnight is best).
Either over charcoals or under a grill set to medium, place the chicken pieces on a rack with a drip tray underneath and grill for 10 minutes on both sides. Remove from the heat and keep them on the rack, allowing them to rest for a few minutes until the juices have drained a little.
Then use the ‘drip juices’ to baste the chicken, brush with a little olive oil, scatter the ginger matchsticks on top and cook for another 3–4 minutes. When finished, scatter the toasted sesame seeds all over the hen, covering well.
Best served hot with a squeeze of lemon juice.