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Cajun Chicken with Charred Pineapple Wedges

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Marinating time - 10 minutes to 24 hours 1 d
Course Main, Main Course
Cuisine American, Cajun
Servings 4 to 6 people


  • 12 chicken drumsticks or thighs, or a mixture of both (see Notes)
  • 2 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 6 tsp granulated or demerara sugar
  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika or pimenton
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 0.25 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 red chilli deseeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium pineapple peeled with a sharp knife, then cut in half and each half divided into 6 wedges
  • olive oil for brushing
  • handful of coriander, torn, to garnish


  • Preheat your barbecue for direct heat (coals arranged in a bank in the middle or high if using a gas barbecue). See Notes for grilling/alternative cooking instructions for both the chicken and pineapple.
  • Pat the chicken dry with kitchen paper, then put in a large freezer bag or sealable container. Finely grind the salt and pepper and 1 tsp of the sugar in a pestle and mortar. Add the garlic granules, 1 tsp paprika, the thyme, oregano and cayenne pepper, then grind again until fine. Add to the freezer bag/container, then seal and shake to coat the chicken in the spices. Leave to marinate at room temperature for 10 minutes or up to one day (see Notes).
  • Add the chilli to the pestle and mortar with the remaining 5 tsp of sugar and 1 tsp of paprika. Grind together to make a paste, then brush the mixture over the pineapple wedges to coat. Leave to marinate for 15 minutes or up to one day (see Notes).
  • Remove the chicken from the bag/container. Brush with the oil, then arrange over indirect heat (at the edge of the barbecue) for 20 to 30 minutes, turning regularly, until crisp and the juices run clear when the thickest part is pierced with a skewer (a probe thermometer should read 70-72C). Remove the cooked chicken to a platter or tray and cover loosely to keep warm.
  • Brush the pineapple with a little oil, then cook it over direct heat (in the middle of the barbecue) for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until charred and sticky. Serve with the chicken. Garnish the chicken and pineapple with the torn coriander.


  • The original recipe uses chicken drumsticks only, however, we had a pack of chicken drumsticks and thighs (4 drumsticks and 3 thighs).   The recipe works well with both.
  • Getting ahead…the chicken and pineapple can be marinated up to one day ahead.   Keep them chilled separately in sealed bags or containers until you're ready to cook.
  • If you don’t want to cook on the barbecue, heat the grill and cook the chicken on a lined grill tray, turning regularly, until cooked through. Cook the pineapple under the grill or heat a ridged griddle pan and cook while the chicken is grilling.
  • This cajun chicken with charred pineapple wedges recipe is easily adapted if you’re cooking for less or more people.   We halved the recipe and enjoyed most of it for dinner one night and had a couple of drumsticks and pineapple wedges leftover to enjoy the next day for lunch.


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Keyword barbecue, BBQ, chicken drumsticks, chicken thighs, fresh pineapple, grilled