Chetna Makan’s Masala Spatchcock Chicken

Meat, fish and vegetables marinated in Indian spices make great barbecue dishes, the smoke from the barbecue melding beautifully with the masala flavours. This whole Masala Spatchcock Chicken recipe from Chetna’s Indian Feasts by Chetna Makan is a perfect example, and makes a great centre-piece for your barbecue table. Spatch-cocking the chicken makes it quicker to cook, perfect for outdoor cooking, but you can also leave the chicken whole and roast it in the oven if you prefer.

Masala Spatchcock Chicken

Read our full review of Chetna’s Indian Feasts for more about the book.

Masala Spatchcock Chicken

All the basic ground spices from your spice cupboard go into this beautifully flavoured chicken. I like to use spatchcock chicken on the barbecue, as it cooks evenly and faster than a whole chicken. You could use this marinade for a whole chicken, or for chicken pieces, too – just remember that you will need to adjust the cooking times accordingly (you’ll need more time for a whole chicken, and less time for chicken pieces).
Servings 4
Author Chetna Makan


  • 1–1.5 kg (2lb 4oz–3lb 5oz) spatchcock chicken

For the marinade

  • 2.5 cm (1-in) piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
  • 6 garlic cloves. grated
  • 2 teaspoons chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon rapeseed oil


  • Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a non- reactive bowl. Place the chicken in a baking tin, then spread the marinade all over the chicken. Make sure you cover both the top and underside of the chicken.
  • Cover with kitchen foil and leave to marinate for an hour or as long as you can in the refrigerator – preferably overnight.
  • Light up the barbecue and, when it is ready, place the chicken on the barbecue grill. Cover and leave to cook for 25 minutes before turning it over. Cook for a further 25 minutes or until done (check by inserting a knife into the thigh – if the juices run clear, then the chicken is cooked).
  • Once cooked, transfer the chicken to a serving plate, cover with kitchen foil and leave to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
  • Alternatively, cook the marinated spatchcock chicken in the oven preheated to 200ºC (400ºF), Gas Mark 6 for 50–60 minutes or until done.

Even if you’re cooking for one or two people, it’s worth making the whole chicken to enjoy the leftovers the next day. They work well cold, but can easily be reheated if you like.

Alternatively, you could use the same marinade on chicken thighs and adjust the cooking time accordingly.


Find more BBQ recipes here, and browse all our Indian recipes and content here.

This recipe is extracted from Chetna’s Indian Feasts: Everyday meals and easy entertaining with perission from publishers Hamlyn. Photography by Nassima Rothacker. 

Please leave a comment - I love hearing from you!
One Comment to "Chetna Makan’s Masala Spatchcock Chicken"

Please leave a comment - I love hearing from you!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating