Devilled grilled chicken

Devilled grilled chicken

Margaret Fulton Favourites
Tanya Zouev and Armelle Habib

‘There’s a little devil dancing in your laughing Irish eyes,’ I’d sing as a child. ‘Margaret, we won’t have any talk of the devil in this house!’ My mother’s rebuke brought an abrupt end to my cheerful singing. I had offended her by singing about the devil, but the word was to become very popular when I was growing up — as a way of enticing those who loved spicy foods.

Now that South-East Asian food is eaten so often and we are learning what ‘hot’ really means, ‘devilled’ dishes like this one probably seem mild. I’ve been making this dish since the 1960s, and it’s a great way to add flavour to everyday chicken. Spatchcock are best eaten with fingers, as they are rather fiddly and bony.


Quantity Ingredient
4 small spatchcock
or 8 chicken marylands
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon ground ginger
freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon mild curry powder
60g butter, melted
2 tablespoons tomato chutney or ketchup
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon fruit chutney
a dash tabasco sauce
lime wedges, for serving


  1. Dry chicken pieces well with paper towels and remove any excess fat. Cut the drumsticks from the thighs to speed cooking. If using spatchcock, split down the back using poultry scissors and remove most of the backbone. Clean and dry well with a paper towel. Mix the salt, sugar and spices together and rub well into the surface of the chicken. Leave to marinate for at least 1 hour.
  2. Arrange the chicken on a foil-lined grill rack and brush with a little of the butter. Place under a hot grill for 10 minutes, turning once after 6 minutes. Keep a careful eye on the chicken to watch for burning and cover with foil when necessary.
  3. Meanwhile, add the remaining ingredients to the leftover butter and spoon over the chicken. Continue to grill, basting with the mixture for a further 10 minutes or until the juices run clear when a thigh or thick part is pricked with a skewer. Serve with salad greens and lime wedges.


  • Grilling is a good method of cooking the smallest and youngest chickens, though they do need butter to keep them moist, as well as some additions for flavour.
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