Harissa spatchcock chicken

Harissa spatchcock chicken


1 person made this

About this recipe: This is a great all round the year dish, on the BBQ lazy summers evening or winter comfort dish. I am certain you will love it. Serve up with roast veg couscous, salad and flat breads.

MichelleTownhill Yorkshire, England, UK

Serves: 4 

  • 1 whole large chicken
  • 250g soft butter
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons harissa paste
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 2 chicken stock cubes
  • 2 heaped teaspoons smoked paprika
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • olive oil, as needed
  • 2 bulbs garlic, halved lengthways
  • 1 bunch rosemary

Prep:30min  ›  Cook:1hr30min  ›  Extra time:10min resting  ›  Ready in:2hr10min 

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 C / Gas 6.
  2. To spatchcock the chicken, turn the chicken upside down, so the breast is facing down. With either a pair of kitchen scissors or a very sharp large kitchen knife, cut from the neck all the way down to the bottom end of the chicken and take out the spine part. Turn the chicken breast side up and with both hands press down on the top part of the chicken where the breast is until you hear the breast bone crack and the chicken flattens out.
  3. With your hand (remove any sharp rings first) separate the chicken skin from the flesh ensuring you don't tear the skin. Leave the skin still attached so that all you are doing is creating a large pocket.
  4. Combine the butter and the harissa in a bowl then rub the mixture in-between the flesh and skin, ensuring you cover the legs as well.
  5. With the rest of the ingredients, except the two bulbs of garlic and rosemary, place in a mortar and pestle and while adding the lemon juice and olive oil, grind the ingredients until a paste is made.
  6. Rub the paste all over the chicken skin then place the chicken, breast side up, in a roasting tin over a bed of the garlic bulbs and rosemary. Cover the chicken in tin foil making a slight dome to help contain the steam.
  7. Roast on the middle shelf for 1 hour. Then remove the tin foil and bake for a further 30 minutes or until the juices run clear. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Pour any drippings into a small jug to be served with the chicken and use the roasted garlic in your side dishes.


If your wanting to use the BBQ to cook the chicken I personally I would cook the chicken for an hour covered in tinfoil in the oven, then for the last 30 minutes cook it on BBQ, ensure the juices are clear before serving.

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