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Barbecue spatchcock chicken with charred lime recipe

Barbecue spatchcock chicken with charred lime recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Poultry
  • Chicken
  • Cuts of chicken
  • Whole chicken

I must confess that I’m not a natural barbecuer. Enjoy.

Western Cape, South Africa

5 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice (or lemon juice)
  • 1 teaspoon mild mustard
  • 1 teaspoon smoked hot paprika (see tip)
  • 1/2 teaspoon herbes de Provence (or 1/2 teaspoon mixed herbs)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 good pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large chicken, spatchcocked
  • 2 limes (or 2 lemons, if limes are out of season)

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:40min ›Extra time:4hr marinating › Ready in:5hr

  1. Combine all the ingredients, except the limes and chicken, in a large bowl and whisk vigorously. Place the chicken in a dish then pour the marinade over, make sure to work the sauce in between the chicken skin and the flesh. Cover with cling film and store in the fridge for as long as possible – at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.
  2. Remove the chicken from the fridge at least half an hour before cooking. Drain and boil the marinade in a saucepan over a high heat for 5 minutes, set aside.
  3. Cook the chicken on your BBQ over a medium heat for 35 to 40 minutes, turning every 10 minutes or so. Baste the chicken with the remaining marinade as it cooks.
  4. Cut the limes in half and place flesh side down onto the braai/BBQ. Cook for about 15 minutes or until the limes are soft and the flesh slightly charred. Just before serving, squeeze the cooked limes over the chicken.

To spatchcock a chicken:

Place the chicken, breast side down, on a cutting board with the legs towards you. Remove the backbone using a sharp knife, cutting through the rib bones. Open the chicken out and turn it over, flatten the breastbone so that the meat is all one thickness, roughly.

Smoked paprika

If the smoked hot paprika is unavailable, substitute with 1/2 teaspoon regular paprika and 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder.

See it on my blog

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How to Grill Chicken Without a Recipe

Grilled steaks and hamburgers get a lot of (well-deserved) love every summer. But the unsung hero of the grill is chicken. I love grilled chicken. And no, I'm not talking about the dry flavorless "grilled chicken" you get as an add-on at the salad bar— I'm talking about juicy, flavorful chicken with an irresistibly charred crisp skin.

Grilling a whole chicken can be tricky though: the shape is not conducive to lying on the grill, and it often cooks unevenly—giving you overcooked breasts and undercooked legs. But that doesn't have to be the case. I don't claim to be a grill master, but I've mastered the art of spatchcocking and reverse-searing a chicken on the grill and it's my favorite back-pocket dinner I know I can make work anywhere I land all summer long. It looks super impressive, but once you learn this technique for how to grill chicken, you can make it for the rest of your life without a recipe. Get ready to be the MVP of your friends' weekend getaway at a beach rental house when you pull this off without a hitch. No one will know how easy it was for you. Here's all you need to know:

The Best (and Fastest) Way to Fire Up Your Grill

Barbecued chicken recipes

A perfectly cooked piece of barbecued chicken is a beautiful thing – juicy, tender and full of flavour all at once. But we’ve all been subject to a drumstick or thigh that’s burnt to a crisp on the outside and still unnervingly pink in the middle. Make sure that never happens again with our collection of delicious barbecued chicken recipes.

Keep things simple with Luke Holder’s Barbecue chicken thighs or Colin McGurran’s Chicken fajita kebabs. Cooking for a crowd? It’s easier than you think to serve a well-cooked barbecued chicken whole – try Lisa Allen’s Organic barbecue beer can chicken or Josh Eggleton’s Barbecued spatchcock chicken for an impressive centrepiece. You can also create some of the best Indian chicken you’ve had in your life, as the hot coals char thick marinades into a gorgeous crust just look at Alfred Prasad’s Malai tikka and Tangdi kabab for inspiration.

With chicken it’s always important to make sure the juices run clear and the centre is piping hot – a probe thermometer can help with this. Leave the meat to rest for a few minutes once it’s cooked, too, as this will let all those delicious juices get absorbed back into the meat.

Spatchcoking a whole chicken and then roasting or grilling it is one of the fastest ways to cook a chicken– and it comes out so juicy and delicious! The skin is crispy, garlicky and salty with just the right little tang.

  • Author: ariana
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 40
  • Yield: 8 servings 1 x


1 Spatchcocked Chicken (how-to video)
1 small bunch of thyme
4 cloves garlic
1 inch of fresh ginger root, sliced
1 T sea salt
juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup )
3 T olive oil
pepper to taste
a dash of cayenne pepper (optional)


1. Make the marinade: Put all of the marinade ingredients into a small food processor and blend until everything is chopped fine and blended like a salad dressing.
2. Put the chicken in a wide glass dish (like a pie pan) pour the marinade over it. Turn it over so both sides get covered. I often make two chickens at a time, laying one on top of the other, marinated, with the insides facing each other. Reserve a little marinade to brush the chicken with as it cooks.

3. Cover with wax paper or a lid and put the chicken back in the fridge overnight or for at least an hour. Honestly, the marinade is so flavorful that I have had great results with little rest time. But if you have the option, longer is better.
4. Heat your oven to 450º F or 235º C.
5. Put your chicken skin-side-down on an oven rack (with a pan beneath to catch the drips) and roast for 25 minutes, or until the meat is turning a delicious golden-brown color.
5. Turn the chicken over. This is kind of tricky— you may need to employ the use of two pairs of tongs, or tongs and spatula. The trick is to move quickly. You’ll get better with practice, I promise. Once it’s skin-side-up, apply the reserved marinade, and continue roasting until the skin is getting crispy and brown– about 25 minutes. Since the chicken is flat, it cooks much more quickly, and somehow (magically?) retains lots of moisture.
Ooh, la la!
6. When your chicken is ready, take it tenderly out of the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes (you can cover it with tented foil if you don’t want to lose too much heat) so the juices don’t run out when you cut it up.


Here’s an extra little tip– if garlic is sometimes hard for you to digest, take out the little green stalk that may be growing in the middle– this bit is full of a substance designed to protect it from being eaten in its most tender stage, and this is usually what we are sensitive to.

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(Optional– have your kid(s) set up a nice table in the middle of your back yard, which is probably the optimal place to enjoy a meal like this.)Eat it with your fingers. OK, you don’t have to. But it’s SO good that you will probably want to. The skin is crispy, garlicky and salty with just the right little tang. I like to squeeze some fresh lemon over ours, and we also like having it with some homemade saurkraut on the side.As I mentioned before, this chicken is great for leftovers, and wonderful for picnics! We made this every week all summer, and as soon as the sun came out, it was the first thing I started craving. An important note– this is awesome grilled on the barbeque! The skin will get more charred, but I like that, too!

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Recipe Summary

  • 1 cup bottled original-style barbecue sauce
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang (Korean chili paste)
  • 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 6 ounces shishito peppers (about 3 cups)
  • 6 (12-in.) skewers
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 (3 1/2-lb.) whole chicken, spatchcocked
  • 1 bunch scallions, trimmed
  • Lime wedges, fresh cilantro leaves, and pickled ginger

Combine barbecue sauce, gochujang, rice vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, and grated ginger in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium, whisking occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and set aside.

Thread shishitos on 2 parallel skewers so that 1 skewer runs through each end of each pepper. Brush shishitos evenly with 1 tablespoon of the oil, and sprinkle evenly with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Rub chicken with remaining 2 tablespoons oil, and sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Insert 2 skewers in chicken, each running vertically between the drumstick and thigh, and breast and wing on each half of chicken.

Preheat grill to medium-high (about 450°F). Place chicken, skin side up, on oiled grill grate. Grill, covered, 10 minutes. Turn chicken grill, covered, until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of thigh registers 160°F. Brush skin side of chicken with 1/3 cup of the barbecue sauce mixture. Grill, skin side down, uncovered, until charred, about 2 minutes. Remove from grill, and let stand 10 minutes.

Grill shishitos and scallions, uncovered, turning occasionally, until charred, about 1 to 2 minutes for scallions and 4 minutes for shishitos.

Cut chicken into quarters. Serve chicken with grilled shishitos, scallions, and remaining barbecue sauce mixture. Garnish with lime wedges, cilantro, and pickled ginger.

Sate Ayam (Chicken Satay)

A perennial childhood favourite of mine, sate is a true South East Asian classic.

Perhaps the ultimate skewered meat treat, sate is often considered more of a snack than an actual meal in itself and is typically ordered as a side dish or “starter”. Sate is also a popular option for young children as the meat is sweet and irresistibly flavoured, without being too spicy – great for fussy eaters!

Whilst beef and chicken are by far the most popular varieties of sate, the use of mutton and goat meat is not entirely uncommon. Personally, I’ve always preferred chicken sate over beef, as it seems to fare better over the hot coals and the inherent blandness of chicken seems to marry better with the flavours of the marinade. Also at least you know what you are getting with chicken (for the most part anyway). The daging (i.e. meat) version of sate is, by definition, a tad ambiguous and there have just been too many scandals where meat of a dubious nature has been passed off as beef. Trust me, stick to the chicken lest you are partial to the odd bit of horse meat.

At any rate, it turns out that making a decent stick of chicken sate at home is actually pretty damn hard! It isn’t that the recipe itself is particularly complicated or that the main ingredients are impossible to source, the problem lies in recreating the way the sate is actually cooked. Expertly grilled over searing hot coals on a specially designed oblong barbecue and basted with a brush made of lemongrass, the real deal is nothing short of chargrilled-perfection!

After many attempts at recreating the optimal cooking environment for sate, I must confess that I still haven’t got it quite right. Alas sometimes you just need to say “c ‘est la vie” and except that perfection isn’t always an option when recreating your favourite dishes. Luckily, however, sate doesn’t have to be perfect to still be pretty damn amazing and totally worth making!

So here are a few tips on making the near-perfect sate:

Firstly, soak your bamboo sticks overnight otherwise they will burn and break off. Make sure the sticks are completely submerged in the water, I use a tall bottle with a stopper to soak mine in.

Secondly, marinate your meat overnight in the fridge – your sate will be all the better for your patience.

Finally, make a basting brush out of the outer skins of the lemongrass it may seem a tad over-involved to go to such extremes, but it’s worth it. To make the brush, simply shred the reserved lemongrass lengthwise and then tie at the top with some kitchen string. Give the “brush” a very light bash with a meat mallet just before using.

To discover other delicious Malaysian recipes from The Muddled Pantry, please click here

Click here for the recipe

22 thoughts on &ldquoSpatchcocked Chicken&rdquo

I too got bad results the first time. Solution – leave out the oil entirely, Egg temp at 350ish, skin side down for 8-10 mins. Came out awesome. I have a medium BGE – a larger device might cook differently. YMMV…

Sound advice, I found the same ✌️

Thanks for this advice. That worked well for us too. We are new Egg owners and do not have a utensil to raise the grill ,but next time I will try that too. I also wiped off a lot of the sauce before cooking bc I did not want it to burn and we are not huge bbq people anyway. It was DELISH. It was burnt a little but just pleasantly.

Made this last night, came out great!

this was delicious however the skin and sauce got burned – it was edible but I think I should have turned more often and wonder if once the skin was seared and had some grid marks if I should have switched to indirect heat – –

Wish I had read this first. I was thinking this as I made the bbq sauce. I was actually running under 400F and like you said after 15 min charred to death on the first side. Seems like this should be indirect to me.

Okay. So I followed the recipe and instructions to a “T.” 1/2 cup of brown sugar and 400 degree direct heat do not go well together. I knew it but I still followed the directions. 15 minutes skin side down was way too long and it extremely charred or burnt the skin and made it inedible. Flipped the chicken cooked for about 35 minutes and wings and drums were extremely charred as well. Luckily after it cooled I was able to pull the burnt parts off and still have a meal. The flavor profile was amazing. The chicken had an excellent flavor. So that leaves me with this thought� degrees and a whole chicken that is smothered in a sauce that has 1/2 cup of brown sugar, I should have used the plate setter and cooked indirect. Or 5 to 7 minutes direct skin side down then flip wrapping wing tips in foil.

Wish I had read this first. I was thinking this as I made the bbq sauce. I was actually running under 400F and like you said after 15 min charred to death on the first side. Seems like this should be indirect to me.

Put 80%+ of the sauce under the skin, there it adds flavor and doesn’t char! Also I raise the grill about 5″ higher.

Ribs with chipotle miso barbecue sauce

This is a real show-off dish. It will take a bit of forward planning, but once the ribs are cooked the grilling is simple.
Ross Shonhan, Flesh and Buns,

Serves 4
1kg beef short rib on the bone

For the stock
2 litres water
1 bunch spring onions
20g salt
100ml soy sauce
40g ginger, sliced

For the sauce
180ml mirin
180ml sake
250g sugar
500g white miso paste
600g chipotle puree (use canned chillies in adobo and blend)
200g honey

For the pickle
200g daikon, peeled and cut into 5mm thick rounds
20g salt
10ml water
100ml rice vinegar
60g sugar

1 For the pickle, season the daikon rounds with salt, then set aside for 30 minutes. Combine the water, vinegar and sugar in a pot. Bring to the boil, then cool to room temperature. Wash the daikon until it tastes only gently salted, then add it to the vinegar mix and chill until ready to serve.

2 Combine all the stock ingredients and bring to the boil. Add the short rib, cover with foil and transfer to an oven set at 100C/225F/gas mark ¼. Cook for about 4 hours, until tender enough to easily push a chopstick through. Cool to room temperature in the stock and reserve the liquid for glazing.

3 To make the sauce, combine the mirin, sake and sugar in a pot and heat till boiling. Add the miso paste and blend with a stick blender till there are no lumps. Cook this on a very low heat, stirring well, till you have a caramel colour. Remove from the heat and add the chipotle puree and honey.

4 Light the barbecue and coax it into a low flame. Gently reheat the beef in the cooking liquor, then remove and place on a tray.

5 Place the beef on the barbecue and grill on all sides to the meat and fat. Brush once with the sauce on all sides, then cook until the sauce is well caramelised on to the meat. Repeat this process 4 times. Remove from the grill and rest for 15 minutes. Slice, put on a plate with extra glaze and some of the pickled daikon, then serve with rice or in buns.

Meal Box Review: A live fire barbecue with zero graft

You know the joke about how to defuse a bomb? “Cut the red wire.” Snip. “But first . . .”

Yikes. I’ve followed my meal kit instructions dutifully, only to discover that I should have cut the chocolate and peanut tart with a hot knife while it was still chilled. But that’s the last instruction on the sheet and I am only at step one: “Remove all items from the fridge two hours before eating.”

It is, however, the only misstep in a particularly well-designed meal kit that has colour-coded, fully compostable packaging (with the exception of a tinfoil tray), exquisitely-sourced produce and the all-important spark that comes with cooking over live fire. A QR code on the box directs me to the instructions, no unnecessary printing required, or you can download the emailed PDF. Hurrah for the planet.

Anyone who has eaten in Mister S, back in the day, will know that it is hipster central. Thumping music, filament bulbs, furniture made from salvaged wood, and charred chunks of food from the custom-made live fire grill, dished up on colourful plates. So, when the food is laid bare in a meal kit with no backing track, it had better sing.

Cue the greatest hits, starting with burnt-end rendang encased in two substantial nuggets of breadcrumbs. Reheated in the oven for 12 minutes, they have all the complexity of beef that has been brined, barbecued slowly, shredded and mixed with Malaysian spice, and are given a little bit of heat when dipped into the gochujang mayo.

For our second starter, chunks of room-temperature, ember-baked beetroots find themselves in the viral company of feta cheese, doing quite a bit more to show its potential than any TikTok pasta recipe will, with sweet, smoky notes and a hint of orange zest. A generous dusting of toasted, lightly sugared hazelnuts and almonds is sprinkled over and do the all-important textural thing. It sounds simple, but somehow I don’t think I could quite pull this off on my own.

Smoky spices

I always find the cartoonish appearance of spatchcock chicken a little alarming, it looks like it wants to get up and run away. Here it’s a well-raised, organic bird from Rings Farm in Kilkenny, charred and smothered in piri piri spices. As it has already had its skirmish with the embers, it just needs to be finished in the oven. This is an approach that works incredibly well. Hot spices tinged with smoke reverberate around every part of your mouth.


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The side dish of smoky peppers from the grill is there to soothe and restore the equilibrium, the caponata-like dressing of capers and herbs adds freshness, as do the pickled red onions, carrots and fennel, and a slick of lime-infused oil on yoghurt.

The potatoes, another Mister S blockbuster, which spend 10 minutes in the oven, are full of jagged crispy bits begging to be dipped into the brown butter aioli.

This is a barbecue dinner where 90 per cent of the work is already done. As well as chicken, there are porchetta, ribeye and monkfish options. It requires a minimum amount of assembly and some time in the oven. If this makes you feel like a fraud, by all means fire up the coals. I’m sure the piri piri chicken would reheat quite happily over indirect heat. But it has got all the flavour, so there’s no need to.

As for the chocolate and peanut tart, while it wouldn’t win prizes for presentation on MasterChef after my bungling the room-temperature slicing, it was fittingly indulgent. A creamy mousse, chocolate ganache and roasted peanuts on a crispy base. Very millennial, my Gen-Z 19 year old tells me. Which maybe means that it’s rich. I don’t know. But you may want to save this slice of deliciousness for another day.

Where does it come from: Mister S, 32 Camden Street Lower, Dublin 2
Difficulty factor: It’s a doddle, just a bit of reheating for vibrant barbecue flavours
Food provenance: Local, top-quality producers are at the heart of the ethos here
Vegetarian options: None available
Delivery: Click and collect, delivery, Friday and Saturday, anywhere in Dublin
THE VERDICT: 8.5/10 Live fire flavours with none of the graft

Three to Try

FX Buckley
Dublin 2 phone and collect on Friday and Saturday, delivery within 10km radius of Pembroke Street or Monkstown restaurants

Among the seriously good FXB prepared meals you can buy is the Porterhouse kit for two (€60), which includes a sizeable T-bone, pepper sauce, onions, mushrooms, creamed spinach and oven-baked chips. Follow the instructions and get a perfect result from the oven, or cook it on the grill. Dessert is chocolate fondant.

Smokin Bones
Dublin 2 click and collect or delivery for €4.95 from Thursday to Saturday in Dublin, Kildare and Meath

Barbecue kits start at €39.99 for two to three people and include smoked brisket, North Carolina pulled pork and baby back ribs, as well as smoked pitt beans, corn on the cob, slaw and buns. The meat just needs to be reheated in a hot oven. Order before 9pm for next-day delivery.

Dublin 8 click and collect, Thursday to Saturday €7.50 delivery nationwide, Thursday and Friday

Andy Noonan’s range of barbecue kits, which are sold cold, include a lazy day pulled pork nacho kit (€17.50) and a free-range chicken burger kit (€35). He’s continuing with his hot takeaway, which can be ordered online. Menus and delivery options change regularly so check for updates.

James Cochran’s three top barbecue tips

1. The essential utensil
Metal tongs. “Making sure you have long-handled metal tongs is like having a sous chef for your barbecue kitchen,” says James. “You can easily handle the meat and make sure everything cooks at the right temperature by moving them across the grill from direct to indirect heat at the right time. The tongs are also great for making sure you don’t rip or tear your meat.”

2. Favourite sauces
“Having a good selection of condiments is essential for a great barbecue, from ketchup to squirt all over a freshly seared sausage through to mayo for perfect potato salad. I recommend Sauce Shop ( sauces like the Honey Sriracha [Drizzle], which can double as a marinade, and their classic Burger Sauce is a must to add to a toasted bun.”

3. Know your barbecue
“When cooking chicken on the barbecue, it’s important to know what the different sections of the barbecue are good for, depending on what stage of cooking you’re at. Start by placing your chicken on the top shelf of the barbecue so the heat can slowly cook the meat, making sure the middle is cooked through. Try to keep the lid down as much as possible as this creates steam to ensure moist chicken. It can take up to 40 minutes for leg and thigh pieces, so be patient. It will be worth it. After that, with your metal tongs, move the chicken onto the bottom shelf to chargrill and impart that smokiness that makes barbecued chicken something extra special.”

Watch the video: Spatchcock BBQ Chicken