Time for a confession.
I’ve never roasted a chicken before.
This basic, essential part of any self-confessed kitchen-junkie’s repertoire has never even been tried by yours truly. I must admit that I am rather ashamed of this, as it’s more laziness behind the reason than anything. I’ve wanted to try it for some time, but my parents have said that the oven should be used for baking sweets only, as meats will tend to spit oil and juice, and so we would need to clean the oven – and did I want to volunteer to clean the oven?
Well you’ll be glad to know that my tendency to be incredibly lazy has improved due to my desire to increase my repertoire. But only somewhat – I wanted to try roasting chicken but knew it would take a while to cook due to its size, so I went for the next level down – a spatchcock.
Any poultry takes next to no time to cook if you butterfly it – that is, cutting the backbone in half and flattening the bird, which greatly reduces the surface area that heat needs to permeate. You can ask your butcher to do this for you, or simply insert the sharpest long knife you have into the middle of the bird and out the head, then cutting through the backbone carefully. Using the palms of both of your hands, then press down firmly on either side of the bird until flat.
Easy! This is a fast and tasty recipe for the warmer nights coming up ahead. Also, as the recipe doesn’t use the addition of butter to make the skin extra-crisp like most roasts, it’s very healthy. A pretty and perfect dinner party main. Roast the cherry tomatoes on the truss for bursts of flavour and for great presentation. Full of light, summery flavours and with the lean yet juicy meat of the spatchcock – it’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
To serve four, you will need:
- 1 orange;
- 4 x 500g spatchcocks, butterflied;
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds;
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano;
- 12 kalamata olives;
- 250g punnet vine-riped cherry tomatoes, on the stem;
- 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced;
- 4 thyme sprigs;
- 1 cup (250ml) white wine;
- 2 tablespoons olive oil;
- 1 large kumara sweet potato, peeled;
- 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius. Line two large pans with baking paper.
Cut two cheeks off the orange, then cut each into three or four thin wedges. Squeeze juice from remaining orange flesh and set aside.
Place spatchcocks, skin-side up, in one pan with orange wedges and juice, fennel seeds, oregano, olives, tomato, garlic, thyme, wine and a tablespoon of oil. Season. The reason why I only have one spatchcock here is obviously because it was dinner for one…
Thinly slice the sweet potato (a mandoline is best for this), then arrange in the second pan. Drizzle with remaining tablespoon of oil and season well.
Bake spatchcocks and kumara for 40 minutes, turning the kumara once, or until both are golden and cooked through.
Quarter spatchcocks and divide among plates. Scatter with parsley and spoon over any pan juices. Serve with kumara.
Enjoy your weekend, lovelies! 😉 xx