Jamaican Jerk Spatchcock Chicken

Jamaican Jerk Spatchcock Chicken

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People tell me they have a love / hate relationship with chicken on the BBQ. They worry about it being safe to eat and as a result cook it so hard that they are left with a dry, charred dish! This spatchcock chicken dish is a Go-To for me because it has all the benefits of roasting a whole bird such as maintaining moisture and feeding a group of people, while only taking about half the time of a conventional roast chicken!

Spatchcocking a chicken simply means removing the backbone and opening out the bird to be a flat piece of meat that can be grilled, roasted, or a combination of the two. To speed up the cooking even more you can score the breasts and legs as I’ve done here with a sharp knife which not only allows the marinade to penetrate the meat but also means the chicken can cook through quicker and so the chicken is safely cooked slightly faster.

Typically grilled to kick-start the cooking process then roasted for the remainder of the cooking time, I prefer to setup my BBQ for a roasting heat around 170-190c and cook from start to finish over an indirect heat. If I’m doing other jobs around the house while dinner is cooking, the roasting method allows me to focus on other things for about half an hour before coming back to the BBQ with a digital temperature probe and getting a status update on the chicken. The skin will still go crispy just how you like and the chicken will cook through beautifully without the need to flip or rotate the meat on the grill. Give it a go the next time you want to roast a whole chicken in a bit of a hurry!


  • 1 chicken
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 scotch bonnet, deseeded and diced
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp dried sage
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Maldon sea salt
  • 1 tsp soft brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • Juice of 2 lemons


  1. Place all of the seasoning ingredients in a large bowl and combine. Place the spatchcocked chicken in a deep oven dish and coat well with the jerk seasoning. Cover and leave for 2-3 hours in the fridge or somewhere cool in the kitchen for half an hour until you’re ready to cook.
  2. Setup your BBQ for 170-190c roasting heat and preheat with the lid down, vents open as applicable.
  3. Remove the chicken from the fridge and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  4. Put the chicken on the grill over the area of roasting heat and close the lid. Cook for half an hour before using a digital temperature probe to check the core temperature in a few places. Use this update to gauge how much extra cooking time the chicken needs and replace the lid.
  5. When the chicken reaches a core temperature of 75c remove from the barbecue and rest covered on a warm plate for 15-20 minutes. Serve.

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