• Butterflied chicken with rosemary oil (Smith Street Books)Source: Smith Street Books

This herby chicken is cooked until it has a crisp-skinned exterior and tender, juicy interior. In other words, it's the perfect barbecue chicken.


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  • 1.5 kg (3 lb 5 oz) whole chicken, butterflied, skin patted dry with paper towel
  • 2 lemons, halved

Rosemary oil

  • ¼ cup fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¾ tsp sea salt flakes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


1. To make the rosemary oil, pound the rosemary, lemon zest, garlic, pepper and salt to a paste using a mortar and pestle. Add the oil and mix well.

2. Rub the rosemary oil all over the chicken, coating the skin and underside well. Reserve a tablespoon of the oil for basting.

3. Cover the chicken with plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes to bring it to room temperature.

4. Preheat a hooded barbecue grill to medium-high and lightly grease with oil.

5. Place the chicken skin-side down on the grill, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes, baste the underside with a sprig of rosemary or a basting brush, then turn the chicken over and baste the skin side. Cover and cook for a further 20 minutes.

6. If the skin requires further browning and crisping, baste the skin side again and turn over to cook until browned.

7. Remove from the heat, cover loosely with foil and rest for 10 minutes before carving. Serve with lemon for squeezing over.

Recipe from 
Feed The Man Meat (Smith Street Books).