Spatchcock piri-piri chicken

Spatchcock piri-piri chicken

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(16 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 35 mins Plus marinating


Serves 4
Butterfly a whole chicken by removing the backbone to keep it juicy during grilling, and flavour with a chilli pepper marinade

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freeze uncooked

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal552
  • fat40g
  • saturates10g
  • carbs1g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre0g
  • protein47g
  • salt0.4g
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  • 1 chicken (about 1½ kg/3lb 5oz)



    Chicken's many plus points - its versatility, as well as the ease and speed with which it…

  • 4 red chilli, chopped (deseeded if you don't like it too spicy)
  • 3 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika



    A spice that's central to Hungarian cuisine, paprika is made by drying a particular type of…

  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • lemon wedges and Tabasco sauce (optional), to serve


  1. To spatchcock the chicken, flip it over so the backbone is facing you. Using a sturdy pair of kitchen scissors or poultry scissors, cut down either side of the backbone, then discard. Turn the chicken over and push down firmly on the breastbone to flatten out the bird. Make a few slashes in each leg joint. You can watch a video showing how to spatchcock a chicken in the How To Cook section of the website).

  2. Put the chillies and garlic in a food processor with a good pinch of salt, or use a pestle and mortar. Blend to a paste, then add the paprika, vinegar, parsley and olive oil. Mix well, then smear over the chicken. Leave to marinate for at least 1 hr or overnight if possible. Can be frozen at this stage.

  3. Fire up the barbecue. When the flames have died down, place the chicken on the centre of the barbecue, skin-side down, and cook for 15-20 mins until nicely charred. Flip the chicken over and continue cooking for another 5-15 mins until cooked through. Check that the juices run clear, as the heat of every barbecue will vary. To cook in the oven, heat to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and cook for 35-40 mins on a baking tray. To char the skin, grill for a further 5-10 mins. Serve with lemon wedges, and Tabasco if you like it hot.

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Comments (19)

jonesar's picture

Really easy marinade and very testy meal (BBQ). Made double amount so to have some in the fridge. Will certainly do this again.

bluematrix's picture

love this recipe have done this loads of times, family fav!!!!,

Tom-T's picture

I love this recipe!

PeejW's picture

I've made this a few times, and it's happily marinating again for this weekend. No substitutions, no alterations, just a really great recipe. Brilliant with tomato & red pepper rice, coleslaw and the suggested buttery baked corn.

tnq360's picture

Fantastic recipe, it was delicious and really easy. This is already a favourite.

honeyshine74's picture

I made this for supper tonight, it was a real hit, my partner said I was getting very chefy, all thanks to BBC good food!! I add some coriander to the marinade and grated some lemon zest over the marinated chicken. Served with boiled new potatoes and vegetables. Delicious and fresh. Definitely one to do again.

lexi99's picture

What would be the best to cook this other than barbecuing? Just in he oven?

lynnehighway1969's picture

This recipe is great - all the family love it. Really easy to make and very tasty!

lizleicester's picture

First time I've spatchcocked and it was easy and cut down massively on the cooking time. I'm not keen on barbeques so was happy to pop it in the oven at 180 and serve it with salad. I was glad I de-seeded the chillies although there was extra chilli sauce with "Pain is good" written on it, added by some!

amr9864's picture

Delicious, I substituted coriander for parsley. I also used chicken breast with bone in and skin on and cooked it in the oven. I made up twice the suggested amount of marinade and this was just enough for 4. The whole family loved it. Served it with coleslaw and potato wedges. Try it!

jonoddjob's picture

Quite lovely. Made it for auntie who enjoys life on the whole. She says its the best chicken sh has had since Dhurba.

epicgirl's picture

best chicken ever so nice and i do like my heat my mum dad dads sister and my 2 brothers loved it to. I would recommend it to any one.

comfie's picture

I used fish fillets instead of chicken and added some ginger to the marinade.

We had it for dinner last night and I am still smiling. Will definitely try it again with chicken and turkey

beeston14's picture

hi, i used breast fillets instead worked well, also used finger chillies which made it really spicy loved it

nly07871's picture

This is a winner! I will make this again soon for friends & family. So full of taste. Really enjoyed it with the suggested buttery baked corn.

emmalyjayne's picture

We just had this for supper it was lovely.
I served it with sweet potato wedges, baked corn on the cob and green salad. I was told I can definitely make this again!! A lovely summer alternative to a Sunday roast chicken.

hedley007's picture

bloody lovley

sionag's picture

We had this whilst on holiday in Spain and enjoyed eating it whilst the sun set over the mountains. So easy to make from store cupboard ingredients. We just had chicken legs rather than spatchcock and added extra Tabasco to suit our tastes.

mrsspacer's picture

I made this the mother night for dinner and really enjoyed it. I added a small bunch of coriander to my marinade too. Husband loved it (he's a huge Nandos fan!) and said to leave it marinating overnight though. Great recipe :)

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