Spatchcock chicken marinated in yoghurt and spices

September 13, 2018 (Last Updated: November 14, 2018)
Spatchcock chicken marinated in yoghurt and spices

Cook your spatchcock chicken in the kitchen or on the braai. Marinating the chicken overnight in the yoghurt makes it super-tender.

Recipe and styling by Claire Ferrandi

Photograph by Dylan Swart

Spatchcock chicken marinated in yoghurt and spices

By Claire Ferrandi Serves: 4
Total Time: 1 hr 15 mins + 12 – 24 hrs, to marinate



  • 300g full cream plain yoghurt
  • 125ml (½ cup) coconut milk
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 15ml (1 tbsp) smoked Spanish paprika
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • handful fresh coriander
  • large handful thyme leaves + extra, to garnish (optional)
  • 15ml (1 tbsp) ground coriander
  • 15ml (1 tbsp) ground cumin
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 5ml (1 tsp) chilli flakes
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 whole free-range chicken



For the marinade, combine all of the ingredients, except the chicken, in a blender and blitz until almost smooth. Pour the yoghurt and spices marinade mixture into a deep roasting dish.


To spatchcock your chicken, place the chicken on a chopping board, breast-side down with the legs towards you. Using sturdy scissors, cut open the chicken along each side of the parson’s nose and backbone to remove the spine, cutting through the rib bones as you go. Discard the spine bone.


Open the chicken out and turn it over. Flatten the breastbone with the heel of your hand, so that the meat has an even thickness.


Place the spatchcock chicken in the marinade, and turn it over to coat the chicken on all sides, rubbing the marinade into the skin and leaving a thick coating all over. Cover the roasting dish with cling film and transfer to the fridge to marinate, 12 – 24 hours.


To cook the chicken, preheat the oven to 200˚C or prepare your coals. Remove it from the marinade and reserve a marinade coating on the chicken. Either pan-fry the spatchcock chicken in a hot griddle pan to brown, 10 minutes per side, then return it to the roasting dish with the marinade and cook in the preheated oven, 20 – 30 minutes or until cooked through; alternatively, if cooking the chicken on a braai, place it on a grid over medium coals, about 20 – 25 minutes per side, until cooked through.


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