Often people don’t thinking of cooking chicken whole on the barbecue when they think of barbecue. And I don’t mean rotisserie style I mean right on the grill. It’s by far one of my favourite things to barbecue as it gives it so much flavour and such crispy skin. Cooking on the bone also helps prevent some of the dryness that you can get with grilled chicken.

If it’s not BBQ weather or you’re just not a fan of cooking outside then you can definitely just cook this in the oven. It usually takes 45-60 minutes doing it that way. If you’re not a fan of having to butterfly chicken yourself then just ask your butcher to do it for you!

I love just having the chicken with a yummy salad on the side (this kale and lentil one is filling, delicious and full of veg – it’s always a hit at a BBQ) and sometimes a simple yoghurt sauce like the one in this recipe. But I usually just use parsley instead of coriander as this recipe already has parsley and herbs are expensive/end up withering in the crisper if you buy too many at once.

The flavours in this chicken are so yummy and it’s quick and easy to prepare, you just chuck all the ingredients in one dish with the chicken and rub them in. No heating up or even stirring a marinade. No extra dishes. Just chicken haha. Cumin, lemon and parsley is one of my favourite flavour combos and the olive oil gets the skin so delightfully crispy.

Yep, this is a ‘healthy’ food blog and I eat the chicken skin. It has loads of flavour, great texture and brings me joy so why not? I balance it with a hearty and vegetable laden salad. Life is about balance, not restriction. But you do you.

Serves 4


1.5kg whole chicken

1 lemon, zest and juice

1/2 cup parsley, roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tsp cumin seeds

1 Tbs olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper


To butterfly the chicken you will need to remove the backbone. Using a sharp knife cut down either side of this bone, separating it from the ribs. You will need a little arm muscle to get this happening. Don’t throw out that neck bone, chop it up and freeze it for when you’re ready to make stock. 

Place the chicken on a chopping board with the cavity facing the board. Use both hands, with fingers inside the cavity to open up the board and lay it flat. You may hear bones breaking as you do this, this is fine! Now use a sharp knife to create a few slits in the skin of the chicken. These will get really crispy and allow flavour to penetrate quickly.

Place your butterflied chicken in a non reactive container. add the rest of the ingredients to the chicken and massage in, turning it over to make sure it’s completely covered in marinade. Set aside for at least 30 minutes to marinate. This is the perfect time to make a salad and light the barbecue.

Once your barbecue is hot and the chicken has marinated for as long as you can patiently wait, spray lightly with oil. Next, place the chicken, skin side down on the hot grill plate. Close the hood of your barbecue (or cover with foil if you don’t  have a hood), turn the heat down a little and cook for 15-20 minutes. Turn the chicken over and continue to cook with the hood down for another 20 minutes. Check that the juices are running clear from the thighs before removing from the heat.

Rest for 5-10 minutes, covered, before carving.

HH. x


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