Inspiring vegetarian recipes
Try our vibrant veggie dishes, from meat-free lasagne to vegetable curry and vegetarian chilli
Remove the legs from the chicken by cutting down either side of the main body, popping through the thigh joint and cutting round to release the leg and thigh in one piece. Next, use a sharp pair of kitchen scissors to remove the spine by turning the chicken upside down and cutting through the ribs on either side of the spine, leaving the breasts and wings attached to the breast bone. (For a tutorial on how to joint a chicken, click here.) Ease your hand under the skin on the breasts, being careful not to pierce the skin, so that you have a large pocket.
Mix together the soft butter, garlic, thyme and lemon zest and juice with a little seasoning. Push the butter underneath the skin of the breast, so it’s in an even layer.
Mix together all of the rub ingredients and sprinkle it over the chicken breasts and legs.
Cover and chill for 2-4 hours. Remove from the fridge 1 hour before cooking.
Heat the barbecue to medium (around 220C), with either the coals banked up on one side or one side of the gas burners turned off (see right). Put the chicken legs and the chicken crown (with the underside of the breast bone facing down and with the thickest part facing the coals) over the edge of the coals. Be careful, the dripping butter may flare up. Cook for 25-30 minutes with the lid down, checking and turning the pieces regularly until lightly caramelised and cooked through.
Now put the chicken breast and legs, skin-side down directly over the coals and cook for 2-3 minutes until the skin is really crisp, moving everything now and again.
To cook in an oven, heat to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Cook the legs on a baking tray for 10 minutes, then put the crown in to roast alongside for 50 minutes.
Rest, covered with foil, for 15 minutes, then squeeze over the juice of the remaining ½ lemon, carve and serve.