Spatchcock Chicken with Chilli and Rosemary

A spatchcock, otherwise known as “spattlecock”, is poultry or game that has been prepared for roasting or grilling by removing the backbone, and sometimes the sternum of the bird and flattening it out before cooking. This combination of chilli and rosemary is a revelation, and absolutely one of our favourites.



1.5-2kg            Whole Chicken, free range

2          Garlic cloves

2 tbs     Rosemary leaves

2          Red chillies

1 tsp     Black peppercorns

1 tsp     Rock salt

3 tbs     Olive oil


Preparation and cooking

Make the coating by adding the rosemary leaves, garlic cloves, red chillies, whole black peppercorns and rock salt to a blender, and blitz until well combined.

Now spatchcock the whole chicken by turning it upside down. Take a large knife or poultry scissors, and make two cuts either side of the backbone all the way through the smaller rib bones. Make this cut the entire length of the chicken, so that the backbone can be completely removed (and discarded), and the chicken opens up like a book. Now make a partial cut on either side of the inside of the breastbone to break it, so that the chicken can be completely flattened out – this is your spatchcock chicken.

Rub the chicken all over with olive oil and then the coating ensuring that both the inside and outside of the chicken are well coated in the rosemary and chilli mixture.

If you are going to cook the chicken on a BBQ, you will probably need to insert two long skewers diagonally into the chicken forming a cross pattern. Insert the skewer into one leg and the opposite breast, and repeat on the other side.

Cook in an oven at 180°C for 30-40 minutes or a similar amount of time on a medium to hot BBQ. Cooking in an oven tray has the added benefit that the juices that run from the chicken make a really scrumptious and spicy sauce to pour over the meat.


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