Food & Drink

Niall McKenna’s Father’s Day feast: butterflied chicken with lemon and rosemary and peri-peri chicken with crispy potatoes

This week, Niall McKenna is serving up some tasty chicken dishes guaranteed to make your Father’s Day special

Niall McKenna's Peri-Peri Chicken with Crispy Potatoes
Niall McKenna's Peri-Peri Chicken with Crispy Potatoes

To celebrate your dad this Father’s Day, why not clean down your barbecue, pop down to your local butcher to buy the biggest and best chicken you can afford, and try your hand at our delicious barbecue butterflied chicken.

If you are lacking in outdoor space or a barbecue, never worry, as you can try our peri-peri spiced chicken - our take on Nando’s - in your oven. I recommend serving these with a side of potatoes and a big smile for your dad.

And why not join us at Waterman House Cookery School for a BBQ Masterclass? Check out our wide range of cookery classes at: or follow us on Instagram

Butterflied Chicken with Lemon and Rosemary

Niall McKenna's butterflied chicken with lemon and rosemary
Niall McKenna's butterflied chicken with lemon and rosemary

(Serves 4)

  • One large chicken, butterflied
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp fresh black pepper
  • 2 lemons
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 1 handful rosemary leaves
  • Sea salt
  • Vegetable oil for the barbecue
  • To butterfly the chicken, place breast side down on a chopping board and cut along both sides of the backbone from the tail to the neck. Then, remove the backbone and turn the chicken over. Next, using the palm of your hand, press down on the breastbone to break it.
  • Next, cut the skin connecting the thighs and the body, and bend the thighs outwards to break the joints. The chicken should now lie flat and cook evenly.
  • For the marinade, mix the garlic, cumin, and pepper together to make a smooth paste. Grate the zest of the lemons finely and juice the rest. Add these to the mixture with the olive oil, rosemary and garlic, mixing to combine the ingredients.
  • Next, smear the mixture over the chicken on both sides, cover in clingfilm, and place in the fridge for 2-4 hours to marinate.
  • When ready to cook, preheat your oven to 180C or use a barbecue. When cooking in the oven, remove from fridge, season with salt and pepper, and place breast-side down, turning over after 15 minutes. Make sure to baste your bird from time to time with the juices.
  • If cooking in the BBQ, take care not to burn the bird and to cook on white hot coals.

Peri-Peri Chicken with Crispy Potatoes

Niall McKenna's Peri-Peri Chicken with Crispy Potatoes
Niall McKenna's Peri-Peri Chicken with Crispy Potatoes

(Serves 4)

  • 1.5kg chicken, butterflied
  • 550g waxy potatoes, washed and thinly sliced
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 pinch dried chilli flakes
  • 1tbsp smoked paprika
  • 60ml lemon, juiced
  • 1tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 60ml olive oil
  • Fresh black pepper
  • Sea salt
Green chilli dressing
  • 2 long green chillis, roughly chopped
  • 150g mayonnaise
  • 60g sour cream
  • Bunch of coriander leaves
  • 1tsp olive oil
  • 1tbsp lemon juice
  • Start by preheating the oven. To make your marinade, add the garlic, chilli, paprika, lemon juice, vinegar and oil into a food processor and blend to a smooth paste, taste for seasoning and add in salt and pepper. Reserve half of the marinade and brush the rest over the chicken, placing on a greased baking tray, and leave to the side.
  • Next, place the potatoes, thyme, and oil into a bowl and toss, seasoning with salt and pepper. Spread the potatoes evenly over a second baking tray.
  • Place both the potatoes and chicken into oven and roast for 15 minutes. Remove the chicken and turn it upside down and baste with the reserved marinade. Place back into the oven and continue to baste the chicken until all the marinade is used.
  • Remove from oven once potatoes and chicken are cooked through.
  • To make the green chilli dressing, place the chilli, coriander, oil, and lemon juice into a food processor and blend to a smooth paste. Add in the mayonnaise and sour cream and mix by hand. Serve over the chicken and potatoes.