Black garlic chicken cooked to juicy perfection on the BBQ and served with a refreshing melon salad and feta dill dressing - this is good summer food, plain and simple.
I adore the flavour of black garlic, with its rich umami tones and soft buttery texture. We make it into a BBQ marinade for chicken thighs and drumsticks and let the flavours infuse before cooking it on the BBQ grill and drizzling with a yoghurt, feta and dill dressing. Crunchy and sweet melon perfectly complements the flavour profile and the end result is the ideal chicken dish to serve at BBQ parties. This black garlic chicken recipe is a lighter and healthier option but tastes so full and decadent, you don't feel like you're missing out.
We make our black garlic marinade for chicken by grinding black garlic cloves with fresh herbs and olive oil to form a loose paste. Black garlic is soft and has a slightly sweet taste so it pairs well with the feta cheese, and the yoghurt in the dressing provides some acidity to cut through everything else. The flavour of black garlic is strong, but once cooked on the BBQ with the chicken it is softer than normal garlic, and not overpowering.
We use three types of melon in the feta, dill and melon salad, and I love to create a chequerboard effect because we eat with our eyes, right? And pretty food always tastes better. Watermelon is pink, Cantaloupe melon is orange and Honeydew melon is green (also known as Galia melon) and it's great to get a mixture to make this black garlic chicken dish as beautiful as possible.
Where to buy black garlic?
You can buy black garlic in speciality food stores, it is simply garlic cloves cooked over very low heat in a humidity-controlled environment for an extended period of time. The black colour essentially comes from the Maillard reaction (the scientific term for when food browns when it cooks) which is the chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars. You can make black garlic yourself, but the process takes around 3 weeks.
- Chicken thighs and/or drumsticks
- Black garlic
- Olive oil
- Cantaloupe melon
- Galia or Honeydew melon
- Feta cheese
- Plain yoghurt
- Salt and pepper
See the recipe card for quantities.
Crush the black garlic cloves with the olive oil until it forms a thick paste. Mix in the chopped dill and parsley.
Place the chicken into a bag or bowl and add the black garlic marinade. Mix thoroughly so that the chicken is thoroughly coated. Leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
Cut the melons and feta into small cubes.
Make the feta, dill and yoghurt dressing by blending them together in a food processor until fully combined and smooth. Adjust the amount of yoghurt depending on how your desired consistency and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remember that feta cheese is quite salty, so you may not need too much extra salt.
Light the BBQ and when it's ready, carefully rub a small amount of oil onto the grill and put the black garlic chicken on to cook, skin side down.
Serve with the feta and melon salad with fresh mint and the feta dill dressing drizzled over the top.
Hint: Check that the internal temperature of the chicken is 165 degrees Fahrenheit / 75 degrees Celsius and that the juices run clear before serving.
Extra hint: Blend up leftover watermelon with some tequila, lime juice and triple sec to make margaritas.
A bright and acidic wine like a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc will pair well with the feta dressing which is the strongest flavour in this dish. I can imagine how refreshing it will taste shared with friends in the sunshine already!
Substitutions and variations
Here are some ways to change up this recipe to suit you.
- Spicy - add fresh chilli or chilli pepper flakes to the black garlic marinade to spice things up a notch.
- Deluxe - mix some thick cream into the feta dill dressing to make it super rich.
- Meat-free - try this marinade on halloumi cheese, cauliflower steaks or vegetable kebabs.
Love this black garlic chicken recipe? Try making black garlic pizza bread next.
A good BBQ will be a solid purchase and keep you and your friend happy in the summertime for years to come! I like cooking over charcoal to get a real smoky flavour.
I use Robert Welch knives, they are of brilliant quality and also very good value. I trained with them at chef school and I really rate them.
Store any leftovers in the fridge. I like to use leftover black garlic chicken to make tacos, or in salads or sandwiches.
I like to have the BBQ on a lower setting and cook the black garlic chicken skin side down for as long as possible before flipping and finishing off the other side quickly. It keeps it super juicy but crisps up the skin perfectly. Use a meat thermometer to check it's cooked thoroughly, it just takes the stress out of wondering if it's ready.
Black Garlic Chicken With Feta and Melon Salad
- 1 pestle and mortar
- 1 food processor
- 1 kitchen knife
- 1 Chopping board
- 1 BBQ or grill
- 1 ziplock bag or mixing bowl
- 1 kg chicken thighs and drumsticks
- 50 grams black garlic
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoon dill (chopped)
- 3 tablespoon parsley (chopped)
- salt and pepper
- ½ watermelon
- ½ cantaloupe melon
- ½ Galia or honeydew melon
- 100 grams feta cheese
- 2 tablespoon mint (chopped)
Feta dill dressing
- 3 tablespoon dill (chopped)
- 100 grams feta cheese
- 300 grams plain yoghurt
- Crush the black garlic cloves with the olive oil until it forms a thick paste. Mix in the chopped parsley and 1 tablespoon of the chopped dill.
- Place the chicken into a ziplock bag or bowl and add the black garlic marinade. Mix thoroughly so that the chicken is thoroughly coated. Leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
- Deseed and cut the melons and half the feta into small cubes of similar size.
- Make the feta dill and yoghurt dressing by blending the rest of the feta and dill together with the yoghurt in a food processor until fully combined and smooth. Adjust the amount of yoghurt depending on how thick you'd like it, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Light the BBQ and when it's ready, rub a small amount of oil onto the grill and put the black garlic chicken on to cook, skin side down. Turn over after 10 minutes once the skin is crispy (depending on the BBQ temperature).
- Serve with the feta and melon salad with fresh mint and the feta dill dressing drizzled over the top. Check that the internal temperature of the chicken is 165 degrees Fahrenheit / 75 degrees Celsius and that the juices run clear before serving.
- Cook chicken to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (75 °C) and ensure the juices run clear.
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave a BBQ unattended