• Mains

Butterflied Chicken with Saffron, Lemon & Garlic

Preparation Time10 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes


  • 1.5kg chicken
  • ½ tsp saffron
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 lemon, zested & juiced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil, plus 1 tsp for drizzling
  • ¼ cup continental parsley, chopped, plus extra to serve


Preheat oven to 200°C Fan Assist.

Place the saffron in one tablespoon of hot water and allow to steep for a few minutes. In a mortar and pestle, place the garlic, salt, lemon zest, cumin and pound together. Add the olive oil, chopped parsley and saffron and stir to combine.

To butterfly the chicken, place the chicken on your work surface with the breast-side down and use poultry shears to cut down each side of the backbone and remove it. Turn the chicken over and press down firmly on the breasts to flatten it out. Alternatively, you can ask your butcher to do this.

Carefully pull back the skin on the breast and gently use your fingers to lift the skin away from the meat. Insert the saffron and garlic mixture under the skin and rub onto the breasts and legs. Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides and place in a roasting tray breast-side up. Drizzle with olive oil and tuck the wing tips under.

Cook for 25 minutes or until chicken is just cooked. Remove from oven and rest the chicken for 10 minutes. Transfer chicken to serving dish and add lemon juice to the pan juices then pour over chicken. Serve scattered with parsley and extra lemon wedges on the side.


Recipe, Food Styling and Photography by Karen McFarlane, foodlove.com.au