Cock-a-doodle-do it right with this char-grilled winner of a chicken dinner.

“Chermoula is particularly great with fish but I also love it here as a marinade for this juicy and tender cockerel from Aurum Poultry Co. which I’ve butterflied and grilled on the barbecue. I add some boiled lemon into my chermoula, but a few spoonfuls of preserved lemon would be a good substitute or simply the zest and juice of a lemon. Cooking a whole butterflied cockerel is really a low-maintenance option when entertaining as it really doesn’t require much attention and is impressive once served up too. I’ve gone with a simple tomato salad to complement the cockerel but it could easily be served with some flatbread or rice too. Either way, it’s a winner.”

Sereves 4


1 Aurum Poultry Co cockerel, butterflied (feet, head and neck reserved for another use)


1 lemon

3cm piece ginger, peeled and sliced

4 garlic cloves

2 tsp toasted coriander seeds

2 tsp toasted cumin seeds

1 tsp Aleppo pepper or dried red chilli flakes

Small bunch of coriander, plus extra to serve

Small bunch of parsley

Salt, to taste

80-100ml extra virgin olive oil

Tomato salad

4 large tomatoes, roughly cut

Small handful coriander leaves, roughly torn

1 small salad onion, finely sliced

60ml extra virgin olive oil

Salt, to taste

Lemon wedges, to serve


  1. Place the lemon for chermoula in a small saucepan. Cover with water and add a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil over a high heat and cook for 25-30 minutes, or until very soft. Allow to cool then cut in half and remove any seeds. Roughly chop one half and place in the bowl of a food processor. Reserve the remaining lemon half for another use.
  2. Meanwhile, place the cockerel onto a tray, skin side up and pat dry. Set aside.
  3. Into the food processor with the lemon, add the remaining ingredients, except for the olive oil, and blitz until fairly finely chopped. With the motor running, stream in enough of the olive oil to create a loose marinade. Spoon the marinade onto the cockerel and massage it into the cockerel on both sides. Cover and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes but ideally overnight. Bring the cockerel to room temperature before cooking.
  4. Preheat a grill to medium-high and cook the cockerel, skin side down, for 20 minutes or until the skin is crispy and beginning to char. Flip the cockerel over and continue to cook for a further 20 minutes or until just cooked through.
  5. Set aside rest for 10-12 minutes then cut the chicken into eight pieces and transfer to a serving plate. Top with extra coriander and lemon wedges.
  6. For the tomato salad, simply combine all of the ingredients together in a bowl and season to taste.
  7. Serve pieces of the cockerel with spoonfuls of tomato salad.