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Friday braai day: Perfect spatchcock chicken

I have been fortunate enough to have learned most of my cooking from South Africa’s best chefs and friends who are chefs. Being on the road for two months, braaing all over SA every day was the best adventure anyone could ever ask for, and some of our best-kept secrets were revealed. A nice and easy recipe that Bertus Basson taught me, is a perfect spatchcock chicken.

By John Grundlingh

Firstly, make sure you are prepping your chicken properly form the very beginning. Begin by lying the chicken flat on a chopping board, with the breast facing downwards. Pull it apart and press it firmly open. Cut all along though the centre, breaking the cartilage and the bone. Press down on the breast bone until it cracks to flatten it.

For the dry rub
Crushed chillies
Smoked paprika
Salt and black pepper
For the marinade
1 bulb garlic, crushed
100g butter, melted
20g grated ginger
50g grated lime skin
Juice of 2 limes
Fresh herbs, your choice, to taste

1. Use the dry rub to coat your entire chicken.
2. Get the marinade under the skin of the chicken.
3. Put the chicken in a zip-lock bag with the remaining marinade. Keep some marinade behind to baste the chicken on the fire. Marinade for at least 30 minutes.
4. Once your coals are ready, braai the chicken, bone-side-down for 10 minutes. Flip it over every 10 minutes until it is fully cooked, basting as needed. Insert a skewer through the side of the chicken to keep it straight and secure when turning.

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