Jerk Chicken

Jerk Chicken

Spatchcock chicken is one of the simplest and fastest ways to cook a chicken and it tastes wonderful. By flattening out the chicken you can cook it directly and quickly, you’ll be serving it 45 minutes after you put it on the BBQ.

Taking a whole chicken and cutting out the backbone is really simple, you don’t need to ask your butcher to do it.

In this recipe, we’ve decided to spice it up with a Jamaican Jerk seasoning.  The main ingredients are allspice and scotch bonnet chillis.

Cooking surfaces

BBQ Temperature


  • 1 medium or large chicken
  • 2 scotch bonnet chillis, chopped
  • 1 small red onion
  • 4 -6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 spring onions, topped and tailed
  • 60ml soy sauce
  • 60ml white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice from 1 large orange, approx 3/4 cup
  • Juice from half a lime
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp dried thyme (fresh if  you have it)
  • salt and pepper to your preferred taste


To Spatchcock the chicken

  1. Remove the chicken and place it breast side down on a chopping board. with the cavity opening towards you.
  2. Take a large pair of scissors and cut down each side of the backbone from the cavity right along either side of the backbone.
  3. Once the backbone has been removed, turn the bird over and open out onto the chopping board.
  4. With the heel of your hand, press down between the breasts to flatten out the chicken.
  5. You’re done, it was a simple as that.

To marinade the chicken

  1. Place all of the marinade ingredients into a food processor or blender and blitz until smooth.
  2. Poke lots of holes in your chicken with a knife so the marinade permeates the chicken.
  3. Put the chicken into a large bowl or bag.  Pour the marinade over the chicken and massage the chicken with the marinade.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours.  For more flavour, you can prepare and refrigerate overnight.

Cooking the chicken

  1. Setup your Egg for a direct cook at 180°C with just the stainless steel grid.
  2. Once the Egg is at cooking temperature, place the chicken skin side up on the stainless grid and cook until you are happy with the crispiness and colour of the skin.
  3. Cook until you can probe the thickest part of the bird, normally the breast, with a Thermapen and it reads 74°C or more. This will usually take about 45 minutes.
  4. Once at 74°C take off the grill and rest your chicken wrapped in foil for 5 to 15 minutes.
  5. Serve.


To serve I cut off the legs and joint them, cutting through the knee joint. I take off the wings. I then cut the breasts from the carcass using the carcass as a guide for the knife. You can then cut across the breast meat as opposed to along it and it will taste and feel more moist.

As with most BBQ cooking it’s best to cook by temperature of the meat, not by time. A Thermapen thermometer is by far the fastest and most accurate way of checking your cook.

This is great served with a mango salsa.

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