• STEP 1

    Lay the chicken breast-side down on a board and use scissors to cut down either side of the backbone to remove it (you can use this to make stock). Flip the chicken over and press down firmly on the breastbone using your palms to flatten it.

  • STEP 2

    Mix the yogurt with the spices, tomato purée, garlic, lemon zest and juice, the honey, vinegar, 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp black pepper. Rub this all over the chicken, pushing it into any gaps and under the skin. Put the chicken in an airtight container and chill for 1-2 hrs or up to 24 hrs.

  • STEP 3

    Arrange the coals on one side of the barbecue and light (or see tip, below, for cooking indoors). When the flames have died down and the coals are ashen, lay the chicken on the opposite side and close the lid with the vents open. Cook for 40 mins, rotating now and then using tongs but keeping the chicken breast-side up over the coals so it cooks from underneath. Close the lid for another 15 mins, checking to make sure it doesn’t catch, then flip the chicken over to char, keeping a close eye on it to prevent burning. When it’s just charred, flip it back over. It’s ready when a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat reaches 70C, or the juices from the thigh run clear. Remove the chicken from the barbecue, loosely cover with baking parchment and rest for 15 mins. Carve and serve with lemon wedges.

Recipe tip

On a rainy day

  • If you don’t have a barbecue or the weather isn’t cooperating, heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 6 and heat a griddle pan over a medium-high heat until smoking hot. Add 3 tbsp vegetable oil to the pan, then carefully put the marinated chicken breast-side down in the pan. Cook for 3 mins, pushing it down with a fish slice to ensure it chars evenly, then carefully flip over and repeat to char the other side.
  • Transfer to a large roasting tin and roast in the oven for 25-30 mins until the juices run clear and the meat is piping hot. Rest for 20 mins, then carve

Goes well with


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