Low carb barbequed chicken with peperonata


Low carb barbequed chicken with peperonata and avocado salsa will leave you a pleasant memory of summer as it draws to an end.

Who doesn’t like a barbeque? There is something truly summer-y and holiday-y about lighting up the fuel and cooking some meat and vegetables outside in the sunshine. Low carb barbequed chicken with peperonata

From the smoke filled air, to that smell of cooking meat, you cannot help but salivate as your senses prepare for a feast. I’m not a huge meat lover, but even I get excited about the irresistible aroma of a barbeque.

So why not enjoy my last barbeque before I pack up and head back to the UK for winter hibernation? Here in Veneto, November has been veeeeery kind, by gifting us around 21°C, a beautiful blue sky and lovely warm sunshine, every-single-day so far. Yes temperatures have been diving at dusk, but during the day you’d never think there are less than 2 months till Christmas!

Good meat doesn’t need anything added to it

My husband is obsessed with  marinating every single bit of meat before putting it on the grill, but I rather enjoy tasting meat when I eat meat, rather than spices and added flavours. Perhaps it’s because I was taught by Italians that when you barbecue good meat you only have to add coarse salt, and if you have to make it tasty by adding flavourings and spices, it is bad meat.

True to those words, all Italians I have ever met literally unwrap their pork, chicken, beef or whatever they got from the butcher’s, and throw it on their barbeque, Bear Grylls style! And every Italian barbeque feast I have been to has been amazing.

At the butcher’s, lots of lovely poultry was on offer. All organic, grass-fed,  GMO-free, local and fresh. Hens, capons, chickens, guineafowls, turkeys. They all looked amazing, and the turkey in particular was beckoning me. But no. Turkey is waaaay too low in fat for my keto lifestyle.

In the end, I opted for a chicken that was plump and inviting. I told the polite young chap behind the counter that I only wanted the thighs and drumsticks and that they were for a barbecue. No problemo! He offered to ‘open’ them up for me and I said yes, since it sounded odd. He then proceeded to expertly make cuts along the bones so as to spread out the meat, achieving a flattened result. This was going to make the chicken easier and quicker to barbeque and to ensure even cooking – he explained.


low carb barbequed chicken

I literally unwrapped the chicken quarters, sprinkled coarse Himalayan pink salt on both sides and under the skin and I was ready to roll! Why coarse salt? Because coarse salt adds flavour to the meat whilst cooking and doesn’t get absorbed by the meat fibres. Fine salt, on the other hand, will get absorbed and make the meat tough and dry. NEVER use fine salt on meat before or during cooking. You can of course add it just before serving.

Real wood: the most natural way to barbecue

In Italy we have a brick-built Turkish-style barbecue (my husband’s idea), but we hardly ever cook skewered meat chunks, as more often than not we choose larger cuts of meat that require a grill. So I placed my chicken onto the grill, locked it in and rested it on the side while I fired up the wood.

Whilst waiting for the logs to burn I started making my peperonata, which is a traditional Italian side dish of sweet peppers cooked in garlic, onion and tomato sauce. A great accompaniment for chicken.

With the peperonata simmering away, my wood logs had turned to incandescent ash and I positioned my chicken above it. Sadly, as you can see from the photo below, I forgot to ‘heat test’ and put the chicken on too soon, charring it on one side. Oh well. I never claimed to be a grill master. I just didn’t eat the blackened bits.

low carb barbequed chicken

And I can tell you my last barbeque of 2015 was truly a success. Apart from those few burned bits of skin, which I discarded, it was moist, the flavour was amazing and I savoured every morsel. No need for spices. No need for marinades. Just chicken. Simplicity at its best.

low carb barbequed chicken with peperonata

And the sweetness of the peperonata was a perfect contrast for the smoky chicken. My peperonata uses quite a bit of cinnamon. Cinnamon is one of my favourite spices: it adds depth of flavour to both favourite and sweet dishes and it’s health benefits are astounding.Low carb barbequed chicken with peperonata

I also served my avocado salsa on the side, in case the chicken was too dry…. I needn’t have bothered!


low carb barbequed chicken with peperonata
Nutrition Information
  • Yield: 2
  • Serving: 1
  • Calories: 1053
  • Fat: 77g
  • Net Carbs: 13g
  • Protein: 67g
Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: Ketogenic. Low Carb. LCHF. Grain Free. Gluten Free.
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Smoky chicken and sweet Italian peperonata served with an avocado salsa. What better way to wave goodbye to summer than with a tasty barbeque!
  1. sprinkle coarse salt all over and under chicken skin.
  2. barbeque until cooked.
  1. place extra virgin olive oil in a medium saucepan.
  2. add all ingredients and cook on low heat until very soft, then add a tablespoon of coconut oil and stir.
Avocado salsa
  1. mash up the avocado, then blitz it in a blender, together with coconut oil, salt, black pepper and paprika, until creamy and smooth; taste test and adjust seasoning if required.
I use this blender, because it is powerful and extremely effective, without costing a fortune (U.S. option HERE).

Metric kitchen scales are an inexpensive yet invaluable gadget to ensure accurate measurement of ingredients. Store them upright in a cupboard or over your worktop and they'll only take up a tiny bit of space. Click HERE for the ones I use. For U.S. option click HERE.


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  1. Hi Antya, That Chicken looks good!!

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