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.
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…

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!