Lemon Spatch-cocked Baby Chickens

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Serves 4

CHEF’S TIP: 2 large chickens may be used in place of the baby ones if you prefer. I remove the rind of the lemons and oranges to avoid a bitter taste.


  1. 4 baby chickens, spatch-cocked*
  2. 3 lemons
  3. 1 orange
  4. 125ml (½ cup) Italian parsley, chopped
  5. 60ml (¼ cup) sage, chopped
  6. 60ml (¼ cup) thyme, chopped
  7. 5ml (1 tsp) minced garlic
  8. 45ml (3 tbs) olive oil
  9. coarse salt
  10. black pepper
  11. 375ml (1½ cups) white wine


  1. Preheat oven to 200ºC.
  2. *Cut the baby chickens through the backbone and flatten them with your hand.
  3. Grate the rind of one lemon and set aside. Peel the others, and slice all 3 thinly.  Peel the orange and cut it into thin slices too.
  4. Mix the parsley, sage, thyme and garlic together with the olive oil, coarse salt and black pepper. Gently lift the skin of the chicken and rub a little of the herb mix under the skin, along with some slices of lemon and orange. Then rub more herb mixture on the outside. Drizzle with white wine and leave chickens to marinate for a few hours.
  5. Roast the chickens skin-side-down on the bottom rack for about 40 minutes. Then change oven to grill and move chickens up slightly. Grill for the remaining 30-40 minutes or until they are cooked through. Baste continuously with the marinade.