Summer 2023

Spatchcock BBQ Chicken

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Serving: 2 people (with leftovers)

Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus marinading time

Cook Time: 40 minutes

pollo mariposa


1 large chicken (approx. 1.9 – 2kg)

1 tbsp olive oil

3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp cumin

2 tbsp chipotle paste

1 tsp runny honey

1 lemon, juiced

A pinch of Maldon Salt

Cracked black pepper


To start off our series in using a chicken in three ways, we first cook a large chicken to make a delicious spatchcock BBQ chicken, a family favourite that is requested at most dinners during the summer.

With a cooking time of roughly 40 minutes on the outdoor grill, it’s a very easy, fuss-free recipe to follow that will certainly deliver in flavour. The best part is the marinade for the chicken, which is made with an infusion of gentle, warming spices like smoked paprika and chipotle paste to give a spicy kick to the meat. With a dash of runny honey and the juice of a lemon, the marinade is bought to a sweeter, zesty level.

Did you know spatchcocking is the method in which you split a whole chicken by removing the backbone so that it is completely flattened. This will reduce the cooking time significantly, which is ideal for wanting to cook in a much speedier fashion for your hungry guests!

Here is how to make our Spatchcock BBQ Chicken…

  1. Start by spatchcocking the chicken. Place it on your board breast side down and the legs at the bottom facing towards you. Use a pair of sharp scissors start at the end with the parson’s nose and then cut either side of the backbone all the way up so you remove it completely.
  2. Then flip the chicken over and use your hands to press down on the breastbones and legs to snap the small bones and flatten the chicken out.
  3. Now prepare the marinade by mixing together the olive oil, garlic, smoked paprika, cumin, chipotle paste, runny honey and lemon juice. Season this well with Maldon Salt and cracked black pepper.
  4. Place the spatchcock chicken on a large tray and the coat it well with the marinade, making sure it gets into all the cavities and is evenly coated.
  5. Leave this to marinade for at least 30 minutes, but can be left overnight in the fridge too.
  6. When you are ready to cook your chicken, heat up the BBQ. The best way to ensure even cooking is to cook the chicken skin side up on the indirect coals for approximately 20 – 30 minutes. Then turn the chicken and place it on the hot coals skin side down for about 10 minutes until the skin is nice and crispy. This really does depend on the heat of your BBQ so make sure to keep an eye on it.
  7. If you aren’t using a BBQ you can simply cook the chicken in the oven at 180C for 15 minutes and then place under the grill for a further 10 to crisp up the skin. A spatchcock chicken cooks much quicker than a whole chicken.
  8. Serve the chicken alongside your favourite side dishes – we’ve done chips and salad. It also goes well with garlic aioli mayonnaise.
  9. Keep your leftover chicken for the next couple of recipes and make sure to reserve the chicken carcass.
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