Butterflied Chicken with Harissa and Feta

, from Issue #46. August, 2015
Photography by Manja Wachsmuth.
Butterflied Chicken with Harissa and Feta

A flattened chicken will cook much quicker than a whole bird. The spicy/creamy feta stuffing keeps the meat moist while the skin crisps to a gorgeous golden brown.

Serves: 4–6


1 fresh chicken
100 grams soft feta, crumbled
2 tablespoons plain yoghurt
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1-2 teaspoons harissa paste
olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
ground paprika
1 lemon, halved


Preheat the oven to 180˚C.

Put the feta, yoghurt, parsley and harissa in a bowl and crush together with a fork, keeping the mixture a little chunky.

Using kitchen scissors, cut down either side of the chicken backbone. Remove and discard the backbone, snip the wishbone and push the chicken against the bench so that it lays flat.

Using your fingers, gently ease the skin away from the flesh of the breast, thighs and drumsticks. Taking care not to tear the skin, spread the feta mixture over the flesh and smooth the skin back over the top.

To cook: Place the chicken skin side up in a roasting dish. Brush the skin with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and dust with a little paprika.

Roast the chicken and the lemon halves for 20 minutes initially, basting occasionally with the pan juices. Remove the lemons and roast the chicken for a further 20 minutes. The chicken is cooked when the juices from the thigh run clear when pierced with a skewer.

To serve: Transfer the chicken and the lemons to a board or platter and spoon over the pan juices. Squeeze the juice from the roasted lemon over the chicken and serve with the Couscous with Chickpeas, Olives and Mint