Botswanan Chicken in a Hole, prepared in traditional fashion, requires slow-smoking the chicken in a hole in the backyard (As you will see in the directions below). But you can also prepare Botswanan Chicken in a Hole, with great results, in a lidded BBQ grille, too.
Botswanan Chicken in a Hole Recipe-
- 1 whole chicken
- 16 large cloves garlic, peeled and quartered lengthways
- 1 whole, large onion, peeled, and studded with 6 whole cloves
- 12 cabbage leaves
- 1 Maggi cube
- 1 tbsp. paprika
- 2 tsp. Herbes de Provence
- 2 tsp. curry powder
- 1 tbsp. dried priri-piri chilis
- 1 tbsp. salt
- 2-3 tbsp. vinegar (for cleaning the chicken)
- Wash the chicken in water mixed with the vinegar, then pat dry.
- Push the quarters of garlic between the skin and the flesh of the chicken; distribute as evenly as you can.
- Place the chilis and all the other spices (and the salt) in a mortar and pestle, and pulverize into a paste.
- Rub the spice mix all over the of the chicken, inside and outside, to ensure an even coating.
- Stuff the onion deep into the cavity.
- Now, wrap the cabbage leaves around the chicken, then wrap a cheesecloth or muslin over it. Then wrap the entire assembly in at least three layers of thick aluminum foil.
- Botswanan Chicken in a Hole should be cooked in a real cooking pit if you want to do it in the Botswana tradition.
- Dig a hole about 3′ deep by 1-1/2′ square. Line the sides of the hole with wood slats, and put hot coals in the bottom. Sprinkle sand over the hot coals and place the foil-wrapped chicken on top of the coals. Cover the chicken completely with a layer of sand, and then another layer of hot coals. Cover the layer of coals with more sand, filling the hole completely. Mark the cooking spot with a rock, or a stick, and allow to slow-roast for between 3-1/2 to 4 hours.
- Dig-up the chicken at this point, shake the sand off, carefully unwrap, and eat.
- Again, you can approximate this cooking method using a lidded barbecue pit. Heat your coals, place the leaves-and-foil-wrapped chicken on a wire rack over the coals, and then close the lid. Keep coals at medium heat, so you don’t overcook cook and dry the bird out. Botswanan Chicken in a Hole should be slow-roasted and juicy.
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