Beer expert Melissa Cole, author of Let Me Tell You About Beer, will give a beer and food matching talk at the Richmond Real Food and Ale Festival this summer.

Here, the beer extraordinaire gives a perfect summer BBQ chicken recipe, matched with a perfectly brewed cask ale.

The festival, shortened to Food and Beer (Fab), will see top chefs and brewers showcase their treats with music provided by Richmond's Crawdaddy Club on August 23 to 25.

As the weather looks set to improve for the weekend, it is time to take the barbecue back out, put some nice cold beers in the fridge and make this fool-proof recipe from the Barnes beer and food expert.

This is a great recipe for the barbecue as you can make it ahead and just finish it on the barbecue or do it in one go, it is up to you.

I generally serve with a fruity bulgur wheat salad with lots of crunchy radish and cucumber and fresh herbs and a nice cold bottle of Twickenham Fine Ales Naked Ladies or a nice cold pale ale from the Kernel Brewery – try the Real Ale shop for both.

Spicy Spatchcock Chicken in Barley Wine
ngredients for chicken
2.4kg free range chicken – spatchcocked. Easy guides available online or get your butcher to do it
1 bottle of Fuller’s Golden Pride - available in supermarkets 
4 tbsp Ras-el-Hanout
1/2 cinnamon stick
4 cracked green cardamom pods
2 cracked black cardamom pod
Thumb-sized piece of ginger
Bulb of garlic chopped in half horizontally
Whole large green chilli, chopped roughly
One red onion cut chunks
Large pinch of salt

Additional Ingredients for sauce/finishing
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
Runny honey or sugar 1 tbsp harissa - more if you like heat
1 tbsp Ras-el-Hanout Seasoning

1. Prep all your dry ingredients
2. Put a low heat under a pan big enough to fit your chicken in
3. Put all your dry ingredients in and gently heat until aromatic
4. Meanwhile spatchcock your chicken, if you need to 
5. When your dry ingredients are becoming aromatic, add the onion, garlic and chilli, heat for a further minute or so and then put your chicken in the pot
6. Pour in wet ingredients and add water until the chicken is just covered, pop a lid on
7. When the liquid comes to a boil, turn down to a gentle bubble and leave for about 45 min then turn off the heat and allow the chicken to cool in the liquid
8. When you can handle it, gently lift the chicken out and place on a rack
9. If you’re using it straight away put a few layers of kitchen towel on the skin to dry it thoroughly, if not put it in the fridge to dry out
10. Strain the cooking juices through a sieve into a pan and reduce, add the sauce ingredients as it gets about half-way reduced, check for seasoning
11. Keep warm in a pot on the side of your barbecue and use as a baste
12. You’re now ready to barbecue!
13. Baste the skin with the sauce, oil your grate and place the chicken skin-side down
14. When you can smell the skin going crispy, baste the side facing you and turn the chicken, baste the skin side again
15. Put the remainder of the reduced baste/sauce in a jug as gravy for the table
16. Serve with a cold beer and enjoy - P.S. this works just as well under a grill if the weather turns on you or you don’t have a barbecue

For a chance to win a case of Sundancer Ale, a brewery tour voucher for Twickenham Fine Ales and tickets to the festival, answer this question:

The logo for the Richmond Food and Ale Festival is FAB – what does FAB stand for?
To enter send your answer to by Friday, June 6. Winners will be notified by Wednesday, June 11.

Three runners up will receive tickets to the festival.

To buy tickets for the festical, visit

What's your favourite BBQ recipe? Leave a comment below.