When you think of parties and family get-togethers, the first thing that pops into mind is BBQ chicken. It’s a definite crowd pleaser and there’s nothing that can beat the taste of sweet, spicy and succulent chicken. While there are many ways of preparing BBQ chicken among chicken recipes in Sri Lanka, spatchcocking a chicken is a novel way to barbeque a chicken with great taste and minimum hassle.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour and 10 minutes
1 large chicken, about roughly 2kg
1 large orange
2 tsp white peppercorns
2 tsp black peppercorns
1 1/2 tsp Chinese five-spice
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
● Begin by placing the chicken on a board, breast down. Use a pair of sturdy kitchen scissors or a very sharp knife to cut along each side of the backbone and then discard it. Turn the chicken over and press down with a firm hand hard on the breast of the chicken to flatten it. You should be able to hear it crack.
● Next, finely grate the zest from the orange and then cut the orange into wedges.
● In a pestle and mortar, lightly crush the peppercorns and then mix in the orange zest, the Chinese five-spice, the crushed cloves of garlic, oil and a generous pinch of salt. Rub this spice mixture generously all over the chicken.
● Barbeque the chicken over low heat with the skin side down for about 5-10 minutes or until the skin turns golden and charred. Then flips the chicken over and continue to cook it, covered with a barbeque lid or a large roasting tin for about 45 minutes or an hour, until the chicken is cooked through.
● Barbeque the orange wedges for about 10 minutes.
● Remove the cooked chicken to a board and let it rest for about 10 minutes. Serve with the barbequed orange wedges to squeeze over.
– You can also prepare the chicken ahead of time. Place it in a roasting tin, cover it and chill and then later get on with cooking it.
– No BBQ? No problem. Preheat your oven to 200°C (180°C fan) mark 6. Then cook the chicken skin side up in a roasting tin for about 40-45 minutes or until cooked through. Add in the orange wedges for the final 15 minutes. And then complete the recipe as above.