chicken recipe

Trashy ginger beer chicken

Recipe taken from Midnight Chicken, by Ella Risbridger (available in the farm shop shippon)

“The heart wants what the heart wants, and sometimes what my heart wants is this: sticky, trashy, salty-sweet chicken drumsticks, eaten with the hands, covering everything they touch with their gloriously unpretentious sauce. This is miracle chicken, and it tastes as if you couldn’t possibly have made it from scratch: it tastes like you got it from some food truck, or some old man barbecuing on an American street corner, or somewhere else dirty and delicious and real. This is proper grubby food, only made with ingredients that (whisper it) aren’t really terribly bad for you. This tastes like it ought to be a guilty pleasure, if I believed in those (I don’t). It tastes like an absolute scandal. Serve this with a very crisp green salad dressed, if at all, with just bright lemon and flaky sea salt. Maybe a bit of bread to dredge the plates. Nothing else, except hundreds of napkins. Paper napkins. Paper plates. Don’t try and gussy this up. This is what it is: the kind of chicken that makes you want to lick the plate.”

Serves 4


• 60ml ginger beer
• 30ml light soy sauce
• 2 tsp chilli flakes
• 1/2 tbsp miso paste
• 100g fresh ginger
• 6 garlic cloves
• 1kg chicken thighs or drumsticks (drumsticks are easier to eat, thighs have better flavour)
• 1 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
• Flaky sea salt (optional)


1. In your biggest bowl, whisk together the ginger beer, soy sauce, chilli flakes and miso paste. Peel the ginger and grate it finely, straight into the bowl; do the same with the garlic. The gnarly end bits from the grating can go in too. Stir everything together. Chuck the chicken into the bowl, and stir well, turning the chicken over and over in the marinade to make sure it’s properly coated. Cover and leave in the fridge for about an hour, maybe a couple if you can. I do this mostly as a weeknight dinner and usually only have an hour, or even half an hour, to let it marinate: that’s okay, too.

2. About an hour before you want to eat, pre-heat your oven to 200°C.

3. Pack the marinated chicken into a roasting tin, skin side down, and pour over a tablespoon of the marinade – I like to get plenty of the grated ginger and garlic in there as well.

4. Put the chicken in the oven and cook it for about 45 minutes in total. For an AGA, place the tin into the roasting oven on the oven grid shelf placed on the floor of the oven. After 10 minutes, pour over another tablespoon of the marinade. After another 10 minutes, do the same, turning the chicken over, so it’s skin side up. Tongs are useful here. Sprinkle over a tablespoon of sesame seeds, if liked (my favourite cookery book directive), and perhaps a few flakes of sea salt. Be careful, though, because of the saltiness of the soy sauce and the miso. Cook the chicken for a final 25 minutes. Don’t be tempted to baste the chicken with any more marinade after this, as it has been in contact with raw chicken and so needs at least 20 minutes in a hot oven.

5. Either use a meat thermometer to check if the chicken is cooked or pierce the thickest bit with a skewer – if the juices that bubble up are clear (not pink), you’re good to go.

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