To make this quick peri peri sauce recipe, blitz garlic, chilli, vinegar, lemon and oil in a blender. For maximum transfusion of the punchy flavours, you can marinate the spatchcocks overnight in the fridge.






Skill level

Average: 4.3 (13 votes)


  • 3 lemons, juiced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) white vinegar
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 red bird’s-eye chillies, seeded, finely chopped
  • 8 spatchcocks, butterflied (see Note)


Peri peri sauce

  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 6 red bird’s-eye chillies, seeded, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground chilli
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 2 tsp white vinegar
  • 185 ml (¾ cup) 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.


Marinatiing time 2 hours or overnight

To make the marinade, combine lemon juice, oil, vinegar, garlic, chillies, 2 tbsp salt and 3 tsp black pepper in a bowl.

Pat spatchcocks dry with paper towel, then dip into marinade, placing 4 in a large shallow dish, skin-side down, and remaining 4 on top skin-side up, so that the cavities are touching. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Remove from fridge 30 minutes before cooking.

Preheat barbecue (see Note) to high. Cook spatchcocks, skin-side up, for 15 minutes, or until browned and almost cooked through. Reduce heat to medium, turn and cook for a further 8 minutes or until skin is golden, spatchcocks are cooked through and juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a skewer. Take care not to burn the skin.

Meanwhile, to make the peri peri sauce, process all ingredients, except oil, in a food processor until smooth. With motor still running, gradually add oil, drop by drop at first, then in a thin steady stream until emulsified. Makes 1¼ cups. Peri peri sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Reserve half the peri peri sauce and use remaining sauce to brush over cooked spatchcocks. Serve immediately whole, or cut in half, with reserved peri peri sauce.


• You can ask your butcher to butterfly the spatchcocks for you or, alternatively, you may wish to do this yourself. Place spatchcock breast-side down, neck facing you. Then slice down the backbone and use your hand to carefully force knife through to butterfly spatchcock open. Cut off the neck and discard. Turn spatchcock over and firmly press down with your hands to pop any joints and flatten.
• If you don't have a barbecue, preheat oven to 200°C. Heat a chargrill pan over high heat and, working in batches, cook spatchcock, skin-side up, for 10 minutes or until browned and almost cooked through. Turn and cook for 6 minutes or until skin is golden. Place, skin-side up, in a roasting pan lined with baking paper and roast for 10 minutes or until juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a skewer.



As seen in Feast magazine, November 2011, Issue 3. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.