Lemon and Harissa Spatchcock Chicken

Lemon and Harissa Spatchcock Chicken

Lemon and Harissa Spatchcock Chicken


Spicy, Juicy Harissa Spiced Chicken!

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Lemon and Harissa Spatchcock Chicken is citrusy, spiced and delicious! Roast chicken is popular in every meat eating household! Save yourself time and spatchcock the chicken before leaving to marinate in a wonderful combination of lemon, onion, garlic and harissa!

lemon and harissa roast chicken

What is Harissa?

Harissa is a North African spicy chilli and pepper paste. The main ingredients are Baklouti peppers, roasted red peppers, garlic, olive oil and spices. Spices vary depending on the origin of the harissa. They can include caraway seeds, coriander seeds and cumin.

Tunisia is the biggest exporter of harissa and is made in many different styles all over the country.

Harissa pairs really well with chicken whether wings, whole or breast. Why not give it a try with this recipe! If you love Harissa check out my Hot Honey Harissa Chicken Wings!

lemon and harissa chicken

What Do i Need?

  • Chicken – 1 whole preferably free range organic chicken which you will spatchcock.
  • Harissa – This recipe uses fresh and ground harissa for a rich and intense flavour.
  • Lemon and Olive Oil – The acidic and oil components of the marinade.
  • Onion and Garlic – Red or brown onion can be used and as much garlic as you like!
  • Thyme, Salt & Pepper – A classic trio of seasoning I use in every chicken recipe.

How to Spatchcock a Chicken!

Spatchcocking a chicken is easy, there are just 2 simple steps and the job is done!

  1. Get your chicken onto a chopping board breast side down and use your palms one on top of the other to press down until you hear the back bone break.
  2. Get a pair of good kitchen scissors or poultry scissors, if you have them and cut out the back bone.

Our border collie Alba gets the back bone as a raw treat – she loves it and theres no waste!

Tips & Tricks –

  • Spatchcock your chicken to cut your cooking time in half and for easy marinating.
  • Marinate the chicken the day before you intend to cook it for super flavourful results.
  • Be sure to pre-heat your oven to 200°C. Leave the temperature at 200°C for the first and last 15 minutes to crisp up the skin.
  • If you can find fresh harissa use it. The flavour is more intense than powdered harissa.
  • I have both fresh and ground harissa spice and use both for this recipe for more intense flavour.
lemon and harissa chicken

Lemon and Harissa Spatchcock Chicken Serving Suggestions –

Roast chicken is delicious with so many things. I like to pair it with Nigerian Fried Rice, Fluffy Basmati Rice or some delicious roast potatoes.

Bringing this chicken to a cook out? Why not make an easy cool and fresh dip like Taztziki or Garlic Yogurt Dip!

Lemon and Harissa Spatchcock Chicken

Lemon & Harissa
Servings 4 people
Prep Time 12 hours
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 12 hours 45 minutes


  • 1 Oven tray
  • 1 Bowl
  • Sharp knife
  • Poultry Scissors
  • Garlic Presse
  • Baking paper


  • 1 whole organic chicken
  • ¼ cup fresh harissa
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1 tbsp ground harissa
  • 1 onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper


  • Wash and dry the chicken and place on a board. Lay the chicken on its breast and using your hands press down on the backbone of the chicken until you hear the bone snap.
  • Dice the onion and mince the garlic and add to a large bowl. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, harissa and herbs and spices. Mix everything together and then add the chicken to the marinade and mix well covering the entire chicken in the marinade. Leave to marinate at least 2 hours ideally 24 hours!
  • When ready to cook remove chicken from fridge 20 minutes before cooking and preheat oven to 200°C.
  • Line an oven tray with baking paper and place the chicken breast side up on the tray and put in oven once heated.
  • Cook at 200°C for 20 minutes before reducing heat to 180°C. After 20 minutes turn heat back to 200°C for the final 10 minutes of cooking.
  • If you want to add some peppers add them during the last 10 minutes of cooking for crunchy juicy peppers.


  • Always remember to pre-heat your oven and take the chicken out of the fridge 20 minutes before cooking.
  • Marinating chicken makes a big difference to the flavour of the chicken. I always try to marinate chicken between 2 & 30 hours for flavourful results.
Author: Daniel Devereux
Cost: £15
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Fusion
Keyword: Chicken, Roast, Spicy

Did you try this Lemon and Harissa Spatchcock Chicken Recipe?

Got any questions? Ask away! I’m here to help! If you loved this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment and rating below! Let me know how it turned out for you and share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at @chilliandlife and hashtag it #chilliandlife ! I’ll be sure to share it!

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