Spatchcock peri-peri chicken recipe

(132 ratings)

This spatchcock peri-peri chicken recipe is spicy and super moist, so the whole family will love the unusual flavours - serve it up with fresh veg

Spatchcock peri-peri chicken
  • healthy
Preparation Time25 mins plus overnight marinating
Cooking Time45 mins
Total Time1 hours 10 mins
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories240 Kcal12%
Fat10 g14%
Saturated Fat2.5 g13%

This delicious spatchcock peri-peri chicken recipe will mix up your usual roast dinner for something extra special. 

It’s spicy and super moist, and the whole family will love the punchy flavours. Served up with a medley of Mediterranean vegetables, it’s also a great way to make sure your family get a healthy mix of protein and vitamins in their diet. While spatchcocking a chicken looks complicated, it couldn’t be easier with this simple recipe, and it makes the chicken much quicker to cook - it will roast in under an hour. Try it this week and you’ll have a new favourite to try again and again.


  • 1 chicken (about 1.5kg in weight)
  • 3 red chillies, deseeded and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp malt vinegar
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Lemon wedges, to serve
  • Mixed vegetables, optional




  1. To spatchcock the chicken, turn it over, so the fleshy breast side is face down on a board. Use scissors (ideally poultry shears) to cut away either side of the backbone. Discard the bone.
  2. Open out the chicken. Use the heel of your hand to press the central breastbone down – this will help to flatten the chicken.
  3. Pierce a knife in several times all over the chicken, to help the flavours mingle in, and season.
  4. Put the chillies, garlic, paprika, vinegar, parsley and oil in a mini food processor and blend everything together, to make a smooth paste.
  5. Spread the chilli paste over the chicken. Loosely cover and chill for several hours or overnight to marinate.
  6. Heat the oven to 200°C or Gas Mark 6. Cook the chicken for 45 mins, with mixed veg, if you like (Mediterranean ones work well with the flavours). The chicken juices should run clear when a knife is inserted into the thigh. Serve the chicken with the lemon wedges.

Top tip for making spatchcock peri-peri chicken

The peri-peri marinade makes a great sauce as well. Mix it with mayonnaise and serve as a dip with wedges. 

What is peri-peri?

Peri-peri is a name for a chilli pepper - also know as the African Bird's Eye. For chicken, it's often made into either a sauce or a marinade, made with the chillies plus garlic, lemon, herbs and spices. The sauce, the marinade and the pepper are all called 'peri-peri'.  

How long do I need to leave this spatchcock peri-peri chicken to marinate for?

It's best to leave this marinade overnight to really get the best flavours soaking into the chicken, but if you don't have that long, you can leave it for just a couple of hours instead. Even if you marinated it right before cooking, you would still get lots of the flavour, it would just not permeate the chicken as well. 

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Octavia Lillywhite
Food and Lifestyle Writer

Octavia Lillywhite is an award-winning food and lifestyle journalist with over 15 years of experience. With a passion for creating beautiful, tasty family meals that don’t use hundreds of ingredients or anything you have to source from obscure websites, she’s a champion of local and seasonal foods, using up leftovers and composting, which, she maintains, is probably the most important thing we all can do to protect the environment.