Entertaining Christmas Dish

Barbeque Piripiri Chicken with sweet potato, rappini & sheep’s yoghurt dressing

This is a great entertaining dish and can be served with individual components in bowls or platters, banquet style. The chicken can be done the day before as the marinades flavour will develop the longer it sits. This style of barbeque chicken also works well with lots of different accompaniments, such as grilled corn cobs, steamed green beans, boiled quinoa and feta.

Serves 4


  • 1 1.2-1.5kg whole free-range chicken
  • 1 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp. paprika
  • ½ tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp. ground coriander
  • ½ tbsp. ground fennel
  • 2 tbsp. chilli paste, or to taste
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 4 fresh bay leaves
  • 6 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 small sweet potatoes, sliced into 7mm thick rounds
  • 1 large bunch rappini, washed and any thick stalks trimmed. If unavailable, use broccolini.
  • 2 whole heads garlic, wrapped in foil with some olive oil, roasted in a 150c oven for 1.5 hours
  • 1 bunch spring onions, washed, green tops trimmed and saved for another use
  • 1 cup sheep’s yoghurt
  • ¼ cup verjuice
  • 1 tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. pepita seeds, lightly toasted in a moderate oven for 10 minutes
  • ½ cup picked basil leaves, torn
  • Lemon wedges to serve


  1. Wash chicken with fresh water and pat dry with paper towel. Place on a chopping board spine side down. Using a large sharp knife, cut down either side of spine to remove. Turn chicken over and trim down and around rib cage. Cut through wing joints and remove wishbone. Using fingers gently slide between rib cage and breast to separate the flesh until your fingers can almost touch from either side of rib cage. Use a knife to slice remaining cartilage join of rib cage. Place chicken in a large flat container. You now have a butterflied chicken ready for marinating!
  2. For marinade, mix cumin, coriander, paprikas, fennel, chilli, lemon, bay leaves and garlic in a bowl. Add some olive oil (1-2 tbsp.) and mix well to form a loose paste. Pour paste over chicken, and smear well over both sides, leaving skin side up. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours and up to 24 hours before cooking.
  3. Before cooking, remove chicken from fridge 1-2 hours prior to allow it to come to room temperature. Pre-heat a barbeque on high for 5-10 minutes. Remove cover from chicken, season the skin, and drizzle with grapeseed oil.
  4. Place chicken on barbeque, skin side down. Immediately turn down temperature to low and close barbeque lid, or cover chicken with an electric frying pan lid. Leave for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes remove cover, season chicken and turn over. Cover and leave for another 20 minutes.
  5. Remove chicken from barbeque and rest in a warm spot, loosely covered with foil for 5 minutes. Before serving cut chicken into 8 pieces.
  6. Meanwhile, as chicken is cooking, preheat an oven to 200c. Season and oil sweet potatoes and roast until tender, approximately 25minutes.
  7. To make dressing, combine yoghurt, verjuice and cider vinegar in a bowl. Whisk well and season to taste.
  8. Preheat a chargrill on high. Season and oil rappini and spring onions. While chicken is resting, grill the rappini and spring onions, turning regularly, until tender and charred around the edges.
  9. Separate slow roasted garlic heads into individual cloves.
  10. To plate place some rounds of sweet potatoes on one side of the plate. Generously dot dressing around plate. Put two pieces of chicken opposite the sweet potatoes. Drape rappini and spring onion over and around chicken and sweet potatoes. Scatter plate with roast garlic cloves, pepitas and basil. Serve lemon wedges on the side.

Bone appetite…

Enjoy the beautiful flavours!

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