Flat Chicken with Potato Salad

Jan Braai
Jan Braai

27 July 2021


For the chicken:

  • 1 whole chicken
  • ingredients for your choice of sauce as a marinade like Jan Braai peri peri sauce

For the potato salad:

  • 1 kg potatoes
  • medium-sized onion (chopped)
  • 1 tot cider vinegar
  • ½ tot mustard
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup plain white yoghurt (I like the Greek type)
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • fresh parsley (chopped)
  • Include some or all of the following optional extras to make the salad taste extra good:
  • 300 g smoked ham (cut into blocks)
  • 3 tots pickled gherkin (chopped)
  • 3 radishes (washed, trimmed and finely chopped)
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs (peeled and roughly chopped)


How to flatten a chicken:

  1. Remove the chicken from its packaging and check inside the cavity to see if the giblets (innards) were placed there. If so, remove them and throw them away if you don't have another use for them.
  2. Place the chicken on a cutting board, breast side down. Now take a sharp meat knife, cleaver or scissors and cut out the backbone by slicing or cutting along the length of it on both sides. The backbone is exactly where you expect it to sit, running all along the middle of the back.
  3. Now that the backbone is gone, the chicken will be 'open' but won't be flat yet. Turn it around, so that the opening you just created is on the board and the breasts are on top. Place each of your thumbs on a breast, and use your other fingers to grab around the chicken, break it open and flatten it. Now press on the chicken with the palm of your hand and use your own body weight to complete the flattening process.
  4. Cut away and discard any excess fat or skin that you don't like the look of.
  5. Lastly, press on the thick parts of the two chicken breasts to guide some meat to the thinner part of the chicken breast, distributing the meat more evenly.

How to braai a flat chicken:

  1. Flatten the chicken as above.
  2. Rub and coat the chicken with your choice of marinade. Bonus points if you gently lift the skin here and there, and get some marinade on the meat under the skin. Cover and leave it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
  3. Braai over medium heat, turning often, for 39 minutes until the chicken is done and has an internal temperature of 77°C in the thickest parts (no blood left next to the bones). The given time of 39 minutes is obviously an approximation but is usually pretty accurate.
  4. During the second half of the braai you can baste the chicken with leftover marinade or some additional sauce of your choice. If you're basting with leftover marinade, don't baste during the last 5 minutes of the braai; otherwise your meat will be contaminated with raw chicken juice.

For the potato salad:

  1. Wash and then cook the potatoes a few hours before or even the previous day, and let them cool down. (Peeling them is entirely optional; I think the skins give them more taste.) Potatoes are ready when the skins start to burst and you can press a fork into them. This usually happens after about 20 minutes in boiling water. Although not a crisis, try not to overcook them; we are not making mash.
  2. If you are going to add them to the salad, cut the ham, gherkins, radishes and hard-boiled eggs and set aside.
  3. Slice the potatoes and mix with the chopped onion.
  4. Heat the vinegar and mustard in a pan and pour over the potato slices, stir and then let it rest for a few minutes.
  5. Now add the mayonnaise, yoghurt, salt and pepper, and your choice of gherkin, egg, radish and ham. Also add some liquid from the pickled gherkin jar but not so much that the leftover gherkins in the jar will dry out. Toss well, cover and let the salad rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.
  6. Garnish with chopped parsley.

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