13 Dec 2012

Serves 4
PREP 25mins
COOK 15mins


4 x 500g spatchcocks
1 tsp sea salt flakes
grated rind and juice of 1 lemon, plus lemon wedges, to serve
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp dried oregano

Piri Piri Sauce
4 long red chillies
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
1/3 cup (80ml) olive oil
2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 avocado, roughly chopped


  To butterfly spatchcock, place on a flat surface, breast down and cavity facing you. Using kitchen scissors, cut along each side of backbone and remove. Turn over spatchcock and open out to flatten, Repeat with remaining spatchcocks. Reserve backbones to make stock, if you like.

2 To secure spatchcock so it keeps its shape during cooking, insert one bamboo skewer through bird thighs and breasts and another skewer through wings and breasts. Repeat with remaining spatchcocks.

Season spatchcocks well with sea salt flakes, pepper, lemon rind and juice, thyme and oregano. Rub into skin. Set aside. To make piri piri, finely chop chillies. Place in a bowl and add garlic powder, paprika, remaining oregano and pinch of salt. Stir in olive oil.

Preheat a chargrill or a barbecue on high. Cook spatchcocks breast side down for 10 mins, until skin in well browned. Meanwhile, toss to combine tomato and avocado.

Turn spatchcocks and spoon over half of piri piri sauce. Cook for another 5 mins, until cooked through. Serve spatchcocks with tomato and avocado salad, lemon wedges and remaining piri piri sauce.


Gary's secrets

 •  Chillies vary in heat. For example, small chillies are extremely hot, whereas long red chillies tend to be quite mild. The seeds are where the heat is found, so the hotter the chilli the more usual it is to remove the seeds and use just the flesh in cooking.

 •  To seed a chilli, use a sharp knife to split it lengthways, then tap out the seeds or slide the knife along the core of the chilli to remove the seeds.

 •  Always wash your hands immediately after handling a chilli, and take care not to wipe your eyes before doing so – make this mistake once and you will never forget the pain!

 •  I tend to use fresh herbs over dried, however herbs such as marjoram, oregano, rosemary and thyme all retain their unique flavours when dried. Drying your own is best, or buy the smallest packets of dried herbs you can find, as they lose their resilience and flavour quickly once opened.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 11 December 2012 05:30
Gary Mehigan

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