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Char-grilled chicken with corn salad and buttermilk dressing

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for char-grilled chicken with corn salad and buttermilk dressing.

By Emma Knowles
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 45 mins cooking plus marinating, cooling
  • Serves 4
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Char-grilled chicken with corn salad and buttermilk dressing


  • 1 chicken (about 1.8kg)
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp thyme
  • 2 tsp white peppercorns
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 lemon, finely grated rind and juice only
  • 80 ml (1/3 cup) olive oil
  • 1 bunch spring onions, trimmed
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
Corn salad
  • 3 corn cobs
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 1 baby cos, tough outer leaves discarded
  • 1 cup (loosely packed) mint
Buttermilk dressing
  • 100 ml buttermilk
  • 70 gm (2 tbsp) sour cream
  • 60 gm (2 tbsp) mayonnaise
  • 2½ tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed


  • 1
    Cut down each side of chicken backbone with kitchen scissors (discard bone or reserve for stock). Turn chicken over and press firmly on breastbone to open out and flatten. Score thickest part of breasts and thighs, place in a non-reactive dish.
  • 2
    Process garlic, thyme, peppercorns, cayenne, lemon rind and 2 tsp sea salt in a food processor until a coarse paste forms. Stir in lemon juice and olive oil, pour over chicken, turning to coat well and rubbing into flesh. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in refrigerator for 2-3 hours.
  • 3
    Meanwhile, for corn salad, preheat a char-grill or barbecue over high heat. Brush cobs with olive oil and char-grill, turning occasionally, until tender (10-12 minutes). Remove from heat and, when cool enough to handle, cut kernels from cobs and place in a bowl. Separate and coarsely tear cos leaves, add to corn, then cut heart into wedges and add to corn mixture with mint. Refrigerate until required.
  • 4
    Meanwhile, for buttermilk dressing, whisk ingredients in a bowl until smooth, season to taste, refrigerate until required. Just before serving, drizzle a little dressing over salad, tossing lightly to combine.
  • 5
    Drain chicken (reserve marinade) and char-grill, turning frequently and basting with marinade, until golden brown and cooked through (25-30 minutes). Brush spring onion and asparagus with olive oil and char-grill until wilted and tender (2-3 minutes). Serve chicken and spring onion hot with corn and spring onion salad and extra buttermilk dressing.


Drink Suggestion: Fragrant viognier. Drink suggestion by Max Allen