/ˌsaltɪmˈbɒkə / – Italian, literally ‘leap into the mouth’.
This paste adds a great meaty flavour to chicken, it’s rich and heartwarming, just like Mama used to make. I used this recipe for 14 chicken muffins, using one tbsp for each one, so you can adjust quantities to match whatever chicken you’re cooking, it goes best with white meat as it tends to be a little too rich with dark meat. If you are cooking breasts without skin, you can get some more parma ham and wrap the breasts in it to act as a skin.

Method: Smoke or roast
Suggested Woods: Apple, Oak or Whiskey Oak
Approx. Cook Time: 20mins to prepare + the cook time on your chicken



  • 125g Butter
  • 6 Sage leaves
  • 100g Parma Ham or alternative
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp Paprika
  • Sea Salt and Black pepper to taste

Step 1.

Cube the butter and Parma Ham into about 1 cm sized blocks, put all your ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend them until you have a smooth paste.

Step 2.

Now for the messy bit, take about a tablespoon of the mixture and spread it onto the chicken, under the skin. Massage it to make it as even as possible, it should be about 4 mm thick.
If you don’t have the skin, spread the chicken with the paste (same thickness) and wrap it in your cured ham, try to keep it thin, as I mentioned it’s quite rich.

Step 3.

A nice extra touch is to spread some olive oil on the outside of the skin and rub some black pepper into it, this makes the skin nice and golden.
The times in the recipes we write are approximate, due to all manner of factors including weather, the charcoal you use and many more, but fear not! For there is a sure way to tell whether or not your cook is done. Internal temperature is accurate and infallible if it is taken correctly. The most important things to do are:

  • Take the temperature in the centre of the largest piece of meat (e.g. on a chicken this would be the breast.
  • Make sure the probe isn’t touching the bone, you will know if it does as the temperature will be impossibly high.

For chicken 165°F is done.