Here’s Luca’s way of having a good feast day.
Firstly, you want to start really late. Planning? Nah. No good feast starts with a plan – it’s all fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants.
So this recipe calls for shopping. An hour before guests arrive is usually a good time to do it because by that point, you’ve actually started to wonder why you hadn’t got on to things sooner. Stress is good. It provides an excuse for beer.
Preheat the oven? No, let’s do it on the charcoal BBQ and make lunch run even later.
Ensure at least three of your favourite beverages have been consumed before you really start getting your hands dirty.*
Now’s the time to look in the pantry and realise that your quick last-minute shop also lacked planning, and half the things you intended on getting, you forgot.
Once you’ve come to the realisation that all challenges and guest disappointments can be overcome or ignored, and no matter what you do from here, it won’t matter in the grand scheme anyway, then you’re mentally prepared to launch into the prep-work. Ah, the guests have arrived. You need to have a beverage with them. It would be rude not to.
As you’re supping away and considering life’s conundrums, please remember that you can do this – it’s mind over matter; those who matter won’t mind and those who mind, don’t matter.
Take your tenderloins – a decent bunch – probably aim for 2-4 per person and give ‘em a pat dry to remove their pink juices. Reserve any uncooked chicken juices for the smoothie later. HaHa. Do not consume the smoothie though – continue with your beverage of choice.
By this stage, everything is appearing just peachy, rosy even; it’s almost as if dinner doesn’t really matter and it will all work out fine. That is until you realise this was a lunch and everyone who isn’t already drunk, is foolishly eyeing up the smoothie.
Back to the marinade. Quick, simple, easy, quick, fast, quick. Quick is now the name of the game because no matter what you do, lunch is now going to be an early dinner.
Cheap beer – it has sugars in it (unless you’ve got the no carbs, zero sugar stuff… in which case run with honey, molasses, or just a little sugar) and it’s a great kiwi way to ruin most BBQ dishes.
Crushed garlic, tomato paste, a dash of Worcestershire and any other things you can find in your pantry. Turmeric maybe. Rattle around and find things. It should be thick but still runny enough (i.e. it sticks to the surface you’re basting, isn’t the consistency of water, and isn’t so thick it’s like icing).
About 700gms of Chicken Tenderloins – enough to feed 6-8
Two decent sized tablespoons of tomato paste
Two cloves crushed garlic
Dash of soy (mainly for colouring)
Splash of beer or whatever beverage is currently nearby (to thin the consistency to something approaching a thick marinade and, because this is just as a good kiwi should).
A generous tablespoon finely chopped fresh marjoram (don’t chop it yet you eager beaver, it’s for tossing through at the end after it’s all cooked).
I assume you’ve put this all in a bag to marinade. If you haven’t, then you should’ve read the entire recipe before starting. Make sure your guests see you turning and coating the tenderloins in the marinade – this shows that things are progressing, even if it’s 4:30pm and lunch is already 3 hours late.
Time to follow-up with your sister who is making the majority of the food today. This not only assists in shifting blame, but adds unnecessary pressure on her – if happiness is relative and you’ve just upset her slightly, then you’re already better off.
Somewhere along the line you’re probably going to have to cook those tenderloins if you can’t outsource it to an alpha male who stupidly will shift blame onto himself for the lateness by ruining the tenderloins – this is a 4-minute a side jobbie with one bastery.
Cook over direct medium-high heat in your charcoal or gas BBQ which has been covered to build up some internal dry heat. Proponents of Profane Propane avert your gaze; for the record, nothing beats charcoal for BBQ cooking flavour. (I am not talking ‘oh look ma! I made charcoal out of chicken’ – no one likes carcinogens except your local funeral parlour). I’m talking flavour.
4 minutes on a covered grill to dry out the top surface of the chicken (so the baste can be applied). Apply that baste, flip. 4 minutes. At this stage they are close to being done. If they haven’t browned you’ve probably got your heat levels wrong, or the distance to the coals, or you just plain suck. You should have shifted blame onto the alpha male. That’s unfortunate. If you’ve failed, have a conciliatory beverage. If you won, have a celebratory beverage. The common denominator is the beverage at this stage because it’s probably close to 5:30 now and it’s definitely become dinner.
Chop up your marjoram (don’t do this beforehand unless you want to ruin everything – it’s more fragrant chopped just before you use it), toss it through the chicken and serve. If by this stage most of your guests are in a comatose condition, wait till chicken has cooled, add unsweetened fresh Greek yoghurt and coat, then put chicken in fridge for tomorrow. Send your mates home in a taxi.
* Ideally, you’ll imitate good food hygiene practices as this recipe calls for Chicken and until it’s cooked, medium-rare isn’t conducive to having more beverages.