Clucking great spatchcock chicken with Mediterranean roast veg

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I absolutely love a spatchcock chicken. It’s my favourite way to cook a whole bird. It’s super easy and proper delicious. Ideally, I’d be doing this on the bbq but for a no fuss alternative the oven is very nearly just as good and you certainly won’t hear any complaints. All you need to do is remove the backbone with a pair of sharp scissors or a sharp knife (or get your butcher to do it), flatten the breasts and marinate to your heart’s content. The marinading options are endless and I dare say I’ll be posting a few more of my favs as time goes by but, for now, here’s my “clucking great spatchcock chicken” in all it’s glory.

Serves 4

ChefsHat

For the chicken:

– 1 Medium chicken (preferably free range)
– Juice of a lime
– 5 or 6 garlic cloves
– 1 Tbsp of paprika
– Good pinch of sea salt
– Solid dose of fresh ground black pepper
– Good glug of good olive oil

Knife

Method:

Peel the garlic and whiz everything but the chicken in a food processor (or if you prefer, mash up in a pestle & mortar) and rub all over the spatchcocked bird on both sides. Cover and marinate in the fridge ideally overnight or for at least an hour if you just can’t wait! Remove from the fridge 30 mins – an hour before cooking to let the chill subside and place into a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees for 50 mins or until the skin is crispy and the juices run clear. Remove from the oven when satisfied and rest for 5-10 mins. I like to then joint the chicken separating the thighs from the drums and cutting the breasts in half. You should be looking at beautifully juicy white flesh with lovely crispy skin, a delight for the senses.

For the Mediterranean veg:

– 1 large aubergine
– 1 medium red onion
– 1 red pepper
– 1 yellow pepper
– 1 green pepper
– 3 cloves of garlic
– A handful of sun-dried tomatoes (although I didn’t have any this time around & it was still delicious)
– Sea salt
– Fresh ground black pepper
– Dried Italian herbs
– Good olive oil

Cutlery

Method:

Discard the stock and slice the aubergine in half then into crescent moons. Marinate in olive oil and a sprinkle of dried Italian herbs. Aubergines are great at soaking up flavours but importantly they turn brown rather quickly when sliced and left unattended so beware and get them soaking up those flavours while you prepare the rest of the veg. Wash and remove the cores from the peppers, cut in half then slice lengthwise. Peel, crush and finely chop the garlic and set aside. Peel and roughly slice the red onion. Usually, I would throw everything in a roasting tray and bang into the oven at 200 degrees for 45-55 mins however, this time I decided to soften the veg in a heavy bottom pan before transferring to the oven for 15 – 20 mins to caramelise and I have to say it worked out great. Juicy, sticky and delish. Soften the red onion for 5 mins or so in some olive oil then add the peppers, garlic, salt and pepper and Italian herbs. Soften the peppers for another 5 mins and add the aubergines mixing everything as you go. Cook on the hob for 20 mins in total and decant to a roasting tray or pyrex dish, add the sun-dried tomatoes (if using) and a splash of olive oil, then finish in the oven for 15 – 20 mins. Remove from the oven and serve alongside the chicken with a lovely bit of couscous or a simple fresh salad. Nice.

#TopTip: use any leftovers to make a super tasty chicken sandwich. Simply mayo and dijon mustard with a sprinkle of sea salt works for me but, that’s the beauty of the leftover sandwich it’s entirely up to you. Enjoy!

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