Peri-Peri Spatchcocked Chicken

, from Issue #34. September, 2015
Photography by Manja Wachsmuth.
Peri-Peri Spatchcocked Chicken

Despite the rather impressive amount of chilli and cayenne in this dish, it is not excessively spicy. However, if you wish to err on the side of caution you can remove the seeds and veins from the red chillies.

Serves: 4


1 whole chicken, size 16, spatchcocked (see below)
2-3 long red chillies, stems removed and roughly chopped
4 tablespoons lemon juice 4 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt



Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Insert two long metal skewers horizontally through the chicken, one through the wings and breast and the other through the thighs. Set aside.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor and process to a smooth paste. Pour half the marinade into a large dish (or tray) that will fit the chicken and skewers, and place the chicken on top.

Pour over the remaining marinade and using a pastry brush or gloved hand, ensure the chicken is well coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours. Remove the chicken from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking.

Preheat the open grill plates of the barbecue to hot and cook the chicken bone side down for 15-20 minutes, reducing the heat if necessary.

Turn the chicken and cook for a further 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of the bird, or until a skewer inserted into the thickest part of the flesh releases no pink juices.

Leave the chicken to rest, covered, for 5-10 minutes before cutting into 4 and serving. 

Cook’s tip
To spatchcock a chicken: use kitchen scissors or poultry shears to cut down either side of the backbone. Remove and discard the backbone, snip the wishbone, turn the chicken skin side up and push it down against the bench to lie flat.