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Grilling Chicken-Spicy Spatchcock chicken that is!

Posted on September 11, 2009 by in Chicken

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Grilling Chicken-Spicy Spatchcock chicken that is!

Grilling Chicken-Spicy Spatchcock chicken that is. Grilling chicken can be tricky and trust me I have eaten a few disasters in my time. I cannot stand undercooked chicken. When there is the slightest hint of pink or bloodiness near the bones, I push my plate back!

So the perfect grilled chicken for me should be crispy and golden brown on the outside and the white meat must be juicy and tender and well-cooked.

Grilling Chicken-Spicy Spatchcock chicken that is! When grilling chicken pieces, it is easier to get to that state of “perfection”, but with a whole bird it is just not possible to cook all the pieces of the chicken evenly, unless of course you…….
Spatchcock or Butterfly the Chicken.
To butterfly a chicken you ensure that:
– your chicken cooks evenly
– your chicken cooks faster
– and the marinade gets to all the areas of the chicken.
How to butterfly a chicken?
Lay you chicken flat, breast-side down on a wooden board and cut out the backbone with a sharp kitchen scissors. Remove the back bone and turn the chicken so that the breast side is up. Press firmly on the chicken to flatten it.
I do mine somewhat different, because my husband likes the pope’s nose and with the first method, you lose that delicacy. So I simply place my chicken on a wooden board, breast side up and with a sharp knife, cut down the middle of the chicken. Now turn the chicken over and flatten .Tie the legs together with some string.
For my Spicy marinade, I use…
Grilling Chicken-Spicy Spatchcock chicken that is!


3 cloves garlic
1-2 chillies
zest of 2 lemons
2cm piece ginger- peeled
1-2tbsp fennel seeds
1 heaped tbsp brown sugar
fresh thyme
olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper( don’t be shy here)
Preheat oven to 200C
Season the chicken well inside and out and give it a good massage with some olive oil. In a mortar and pestle add all marinade ingredients, except the olive oil and the lemon juice. Bash until everything is fine enough to rub all over the chicken. Inside and out. Drizzle some more oil and lemon juice over the top and place on a roasting rack in the BBQ outside or in the oven.
The other important thing when grilling is to constantly baste the chicken with the dripping sauces. After about 45 min, the chicken is cooked, but I turn the oven down to 170C and then let the chicken just slowly cook right through. Served with boiled new potatoes, a salad, potato bake…really anything you fancy, because all attention will be on this perfectly grilled chicken!
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23 Responses to “Grilling Chicken-Spicy Spatchcock chicken that is!”

  1. That Girl 11 September 2009 at 4:32 pm #

    I can't think if I've ever had a whole grilled chicken. I usually stick with breasts.

    • jan 15 November 2014 at 8:57 am #

      Spatchcock to prepare in stove 180c leave feathers on pluck after 1hr in stove this is non holy cooking keep the juices in the bird

  2. Elra 11 September 2009 at 4:55 pm #

    Look delicious and pretty tempting with that red chiles.

  3. Mike 11 September 2009 at 7:10 pm #

    That skin looks perfectly crisp. I'd love to try my hand at that marinade; I'm all about heat.

  4. Helene 11 September 2009 at 8:00 pm #

    This is one of the best chicken I have seen in a while. Full of flavors.

  5. Pam 11 September 2009 at 8:07 pm #

    I still haven't spatchcocked a chicken yet – thanks for inspiring me to do so. This chicken looks and sounds AMAZING!

  6. My Carolina Kitchen 11 September 2009 at 8:49 pm #

    Love a moist grilled chicken and this sounds fabulous with the fennel seeds and ginger.

  7. Bellini Valli 11 September 2009 at 11:26 pm #

    This is my favourite way to barbecue a whole bird Nina…love the rub you are using as well.

  8. redkathy 12 September 2009 at 5:26 am #

    Hubby would just die for this bird! He's like you, no pink and crisp a must. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Nina Timm 12 September 2009 at 8:07 am #

    that girl – this way you get perfect breasts and crispy other bits!!

    elra- oh yes, slowly but surely getting the family used to more heat!!

    mike – I think for you this will be mild, but you can always adjust the heat!

    helene – thanks dear friend!!

    pam – somehow I think you will give this a Mexican twist which could be very interesting.

    my carolina kitchen – the fennel seeds become lovely and crunchy during grilling, adding a lot of texture to the already crispy skin!!!

    val – aaaah, so you know about this pleasure then!!

    redcathy – well, hubs will not be disappointed!

  10. mycookinghut 12 September 2009 at 8:12 pm #

    I love this idea of butterfly the chicken for grilling!! The marinate you made sounds really good. I have a whole chicken in my fridge, so, I will make this for Sunday roast! πŸ™‚

  11. lisaiscooking 14 September 2009 at 12:33 am #

    I'm convinced that spatchcocking a chicken is best for grilling. Your spicy marinade sounds great!

  12. Juliana 14 September 2009 at 10:32 pm #

    Oh! This chicken looks so tasty, with all the spice on it. Yummie! Great picture as well πŸ™‚

  13. Juno 17 September 2009 at 9:45 pm #

    All I can say is yum, yum, yum. I can't wait to fire up the old braai and try out this recipe, Nina. I just love barbequed, spicy chicken, and I completely agree that chicken needs to be properly cooked, with no yucky pink bits.

  14. Psychgrad 21 September 2009 at 4:00 am #

    I should really try spatchcocking (not sure if it should be used as a verb) my chicken. I tend to need to put my full chickens back into the oven to finish cooking to dark meat.

  15. Jeanne 12 October 2009 at 1:14 pm #

    Thanks fr the spatchcock tips – you don't get chicen flatties in the supermarkets here like in SA πŸ˜‰ And aaaah, the Pope's nose – when last did I hear that expression?? It was usually my dad's prerogative at Sunday lunch, although sometimes he'd let me or my brother have it.

  16. Nabeela 18 May 2010 at 6:42 pm #

    need to try it out!!!

  17. Phil Pienaat 10 August 2013 at 5:33 pm #

    Ek luister graag na jou eenvoudige resepte vir lekker kos. Ek braai al baie jare plat hoender. As die weer more te Hermanus mooi is sal ek beslis hierdie nuwe resep probeer. Ek haat ook hoender wat rou is, los dit maar vir steak. Baie mense kook hoender voor hulle braai. Wat ek egter doen is om die oond warm te maak tot 100 grade, die plat hoender daarin plaas en dadelik die oond afskakel. Dit bly in die oond totdat die kol reg is, maar nie te lank nie. Dit maak dit net ‘n bietjie warm en nie gaar nie.

  18. Phil Pienaar 10 August 2013 at 5:34 pm #

    Jammer vir die spelfout met my van

  19. Liz 13 June 2014 at 5:41 pm #

    How long would you roast the crown only in the oven without it getting dry? Your pictures are eatable! Gorgous marinade too.

  20. Annelise 19 August 2014 at 7:37 pm #

    Dankie vir al jou advies oor MY Spatchkokie ….. jy was reg … die speserye maak ‘n GROOT verskil! En die geure wat in die kombuis hang maak kosmaak sommer BAIE opwindend! xxxxx

  21. jan 15 November 2014 at 9:06 am #

    Do not pluck bird place in oven feathers on 180c one hour remove bird remove feathers now you have one juicy spatchcock try it this is close to naturual.


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