MP7144It’s January and we here at is on a health kick. Yes, we wants to lose weight but we don’t want to STOP braaing. How will we acheive this? Lean braai recipes.

A quick and efficient way to cook a whole bird on the braai is to butterfly it. This method is so popular, that large chains like Woolies and Checkers have thrived selling chile-rubbed butterflied chicken to happy patrons. When cooking a whole chicken on the braai, try searing the chicken first over direct heat then finish cooking over indirect heat (as instructed in this recipe). That way you avoid the all too common problem when braaing—chicken burned on the outside and raw in the center. For best flavor, let the chicken marinate in the rub overnight in the refrigerator. Serve with lime wedges and fresh salsa.


– 3 tablespoons chile powder, preferably New Mexico chile, or Hungarian paprika
– 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
– 2 teaspoons freshly grated lime zest- 3 tablespoons lime juice
– 1 tablespoon minced garlic
– 1 teaspoon ground coriander
– 1 teaspoon ground cumin
– 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
– 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
– 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
– Pinch of ground cinnamon
– 1 3 1/2- to 4-pound chicken


Combine chile powder (or paprika) and oil in a small bowl with lime zest and juice, garlic, coriander, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and cinnamon to form a wet paste.

Using kitchen shears, cut the chicken down one side of the backbone, through the ribs. Make an identical cut on the opposite side to remove the backbone completely; discard (or reserve it for stock). Place the chicken cut-side down and flatten with the heel of your hand. Generously smear the spice rub under and over the skin and on the interior of the bird. Place in a nonreactive baking dish (see Tip). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours.

Preheat half the charcoal braai to medium-high (or build a medium-high heat fire on one side); leave the other half unheated. Have a squirt bottle of water ready by the grill.

Leave all the spice rub on the chicken. Place the chicken skin-side down over the heat and braai until the skin begins to color and char marks form, about 5 minutes. (Extinguish any flare-ups with the squirt bottle.) Flip over and braai for 5 minutes more.

Move the chicken to the unheated side. Close the lid (if you’re using a Weber) and cook, making sure the chicken is flat against the grate, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh without touching bone registers 165°F, 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a platter and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before carving.

Your Turn.

A great way to lose weight by braaing?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *