Barbecue Butterfly Chicken with Spiked Honey Glaze and Quinoa salad


Barbecue Butterfly Chicken with Spiked Honey Glaze and Quinoa salad

© Annabel Langbein 2021

If you’re looking for the perfect salad to take to a barbecue or potluck this summer, this is it. Packed with vegetable goodness and tasty nutritious quinoa, its one of those great recipes you can change out depending on your mood. Make it without any protein for a flavoursome side, or use bbq lamb, beef or prawns in place of the chicken used here.

The zingy honey chilli dressing is such a useful summer fixing to have on hand in the fridge, ready to drizzle over salad greens, barbecued meats and veg. We find that parcooking the chicken in a frying pan with a little water before you barbecue it ensures that it is fully cooked through without overly charring and takes out the stress of wondering if it is properly cooked.

Ready in about 1 hour

Serves 4-6


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large shallot or a small red onion finely diced
  • 1½ cups quinoa rinsed and well drained
  • 2¼ cups water
  • 2 small or 1 large head broccoli cut into bite sized florets, stems peeled and diced
  • 100g snow peas, trimmed and destringed (Optional)
  • 450g frozen edamame beans
  • 1 whole butterflied chicken salt and pepper

Dressing ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely grated or minced
  • 2 tbsp Comvita rewarewa honey
  • 4 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp hot water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½-1 long red chilli, very finely diced, to taste
  • 1 tbsp seed mustard
  • ½ tsp salt and several grinds of black pepper

To serve

  • ½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ packed cup chopped fresh mint
  • fresh pomegranate seeds (ariels)


1. Start by making the dressing. Place all the dressing ingredients in a clean jar or small bowl and stir or cover and shake until honey is dissolved. Take out a quarter cup of the dressing to use as a glaze for the chicken, (the remaining half cup will be used to dress the salad).

2. Prepare the quinoa. Place the oil in a pot over medium heat. Add diced shallot and cook, stirring now and then until softened but not browned (5 minutes). Add rinsed, well-drained quinoa and cook for another minute or two stirring to dry off. Add water and ½ tsp salt, stir and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook quinoa for 15 minutes, remove from the heat without uncovering and stand for a further 15 minutes before fluffing with a fork. Put to one side to fully cool. (Quinoa can be prepared up to 24 hours in advance and stored in a covered container in the fridge. Bring back to room temperature before serving)

3. While quinoa cooks, boil a large jug of water. Place chopped broccoli in a large bowl with 1/2 tsp salt. Cover with the full jug of boiling water and leave to stand for 2 minutes. Add snow peas, if using, and frozen edamame and stir to submerge. Leave for another 30 seconds then drain everything into a colander. Rinse under cold water. Drain the vegetables well, shaking off excess water. If using snow peas cut these in half lengthwise. Put the vegetables to one side.

4. To parcook the chicken, season all over with salt and pepper. In a frying pan that is large enough to hold the bird flat, pour in enough water to come up to your first finger joint (about 2cm). Place the chicken in the water, cover the dish tightly and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for 15 minutes. The flesh of the chicken should feel set and firm- if the legs still move easily, recover the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes. (The chicken can be par-cooked like this up to 8 hours in advance, cover and chill if you are not going to be barbecuing it immediately.)

5. To barbecue the par-cooked chicken, preheat the barbecue over medium heat, add the chicken, cover the barbecue and cook for about 15-20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, start brushing with the quarter cup of dressing you have reserved - this is going to give your chicken a lovely burnished glaze. Brush dressing all over the skin, leave for a couple of minutes to absorb then turn and brush the rib side. Repeat turning and brushing every few minutes until the bird is fully cooked and deeply burnished. Take care the barbecue isn’t too hot, the glaze can quickly burn if the heat is too high. Cook until the juices run clear when the bird is skewered in the deepest part of the thigh. If the juices run pink or red, return to the heat, cover and cook a further 5 minutes then check again.

6. Remove chicken from heat and rest for 5-10 minutes before carving into portions.

7. To serve, combine cooked quinoa with the other half of the dressing, stirring to combine. Add the drained greens and toss to combine. Add most of the pumpkin seeds, mint and the pomegranate seeds, reserving a little of each for garnish, gently toss to combine. Check seasonings and adjust to taste.

8. To serve, pile salad onto a serving platter. Top with pieces of BBQ chicken. Sprinkle with remaining seeds, mint and pomegranate seeds. Alternatively, if you wanted to serve the chicken on it’s own, pile salad onto a serving platter and sprinkle with remaining seeds, mint and pomegranate seeds. Place the cut-up chicken on another plate or board and garnish with extra mint and/or pomegranate seeds