‘Filipino Pinoy Barbecue’ marinated butterflied chicken

Mild spices combine with banana for a delicious barbecued chicken.

  • Serves 4-6
  • Preparation time 15 minutes plus 2-4 hours to marinate
  • Cooking Time 50-60 minutes.
Print recipe


  • 1 ½ tablespoons coconut oil
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • ½ red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • good pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon light soy sauce
  • ½ tablespoon tomato paste
  • ¼ cup water or more if needed
  • lemon or lime juice to thin
  • 1.35 kg Turk's free range chicken, butterflied, see tip (or cut into 4 pieces)


  1. Makes enough marinade for two butterflied chickens, leftover marinade can be frozen for another day
  2. Place the coconut oil in a heavy-based saucepan over low heat. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, chilli and bay leaf. Cook until the onion is soft.
  3. Add the spices, salt and pepper and cook until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the banana, vinegar, soy sauce, tomato paste and water.
  4. Cook gently until the mixture is very thick. Remove the bay leaf.
  5. Place mixture in a small food processor or blender and process or blend until smooth. Taste for seasoning and leave to cool completely. Place the chicken in a shallow ceramic dish. Thin the marinade with lemon or lime juice (and to add more acidity). Spread over the chicken, cover and place in the fridge to marinate for 2-4 hours.
  6. Meanwhile, preheat a lidded barbecue to 200°C.
  7. Remove the chicken from the fridge and bring back to room temperature, 20 minutes.
  8. Place chicken on barbecue and close the lid. Lower the temperature to medium-low. Barbecue chicken for 50-60 minutes or insert a skewer into the thickest part of the meat, when the juices run clear the chicken is cooked (the chicken can be cooked in the oven at 180°C for 50-60 minutes).
  9. Remove chicken from the barbecue and place on a warmed plate. Cover loosely with foil or baking paper and a clean tea towel and leave to rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.

Suggested chicken

1.35kg Turk's free range chicken, butterflied

Alternative chicken

Turk's free range chicken drums (allow for less cooking time, about 30 minutes or until the juices run clear when pierced with a skewer), nibbles, thighs (bone in)


How to butterfly a chicken

Using kitchen scissors or a sharp knife, cut down each side of the backbone. Remove backbone. Turn chicken breast-side-up and press firmly on the breastbone to flatten.

Barbecuing butterflied chicken

We suggest you check chicken after 45 minutes and baste chicken to keep moist.