Make Alexandra Dudley's spatchcocked Persian peanut chicken with crunchy cabbage slaw

Persian spices and peanut butter give your next Sunday roast an easy – and incredibly tasty – twist

Alexandra Dudley's spatchcocked Persian peanut chicken with crunchy cabbage slaw; Photograph by Andrew Burton

Serves 4

Preparation time 2 hours

Cooking time 50 mins

Dudley developed this recipe one warm April Sunday, when roast potatoes and gravy seemed all too wintery. She swapped buttered cabbage for a cool cucumber salad, topped with fresh mint. "This chicken is rich with flavour and the addition of peanut butter also keeps the meat wonderfully tender," she says. The recipe calls for a spatchcocked chicken, which most butchers will do for you, but you can easily do it yourself if needed.


  • 1 chicken (about 1.3kg), spatchcocked
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 1 heaped tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • Crusty loaf, to serve

For the slaw

  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 5 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 4 limes
  • 3 tbsp cold-pressed olive oil
  • 1 cucumber
  • Seeds of 1 pomegranate
  • Bunch of mint, chopped


  1. Combine the turmeric, mixed spice, sumac, peanut butter, oil and vinegar in a small bowl. Season well, then place the chicken in a large bowl and rub about three-quarters of the mix all over the bird. Work the remaining marinade over the breast of the chicken by pushing it under the skin. Cover, put in the fridge and leave the chicken to marinate for 2-4 hours while you prepare the slaw.
  2. Place the onion in a small bowl and add the red wine vinegar and the juice from three of the limes. Cover with cling film and leave to steep in the fridge for at least 2 hours. You'll notice the onions turn a bright pink as they start to slightly pickle.
  3. Take 2 tablespoons of the steeping juice from your onions and place it in a serving bowl along with the olive oil and the juice from the remaining lime. Mix and season to taste. You may want to add the rest of your lime juice. Drain and rinse the onions before adding them to the bowl.
  4. Slice the cucumber in half lengthways and scoop out the seedy centre using a teaspoon. Cut the cucumber halves on the diagonal into thin slices and add these to the onions. Toss everything together and keep cool until ready to serve.
  5. Preheat the barbecue until the coals are white hot, or if you are using an oven, preheat it to 200°C. The cooking time for the chicken varies, but a rough guide is 40-50 minutes in the oven or 35-40 on the barbecue. Check the chicken is cooked through.
  6. When you are just about ready to serve, throw the chopped mint leaves and pomegranate seeds into your slaw and give everything a toss. Transfer the chicken to a serving dish and roughly divide it into legs, breasts and wings, letting everyone pick and choose their favourite cut. Any leftover juices in the serving dish will be delicious, so serve slices of a good crusty bread for mopping them up.