Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Spatchcocked chicken with lemon, thyme and chilli

I cook up a nice roast chicken at least a couple of times a month, it's one of those dishes that never fails to please, unless you're a vegetarian of course. I normally add herbs, spices or marinades to my roast chicken to make it a bit more interesting, lemon and thyme is a good combination, Moroccan spices work well and I have had a lot of success with stuffing bacon under the skin before roasting.

Recently I've been experimenting with a completely different way of preparing the chicken - spatchcocking. Not only is it fun to say it's also a really good way to cook chicken, spatchcocking is a simple method for preparing chicken that results in it being spread out flat.One of the brilliant things about using this technique is that unlike on a conventional roast chicken where the bottom tends to stay pale and soggy, on a spatchcocked chicken all the skin is on top which means you get loads more delicious golden crispy skin when it's done. not only that but it cooks in about half the time of a conventional chicken and it's perfect for the barbecue too!

To prepare a spatchcocked chicken is actually really simple, essentially all you do is turn the bird breast side down and using some good strong scissors cut out the backbone (save the backbone for stock). Turn the bird the right way up again and press down firmly on the breast until you hear a crack and that's it! I said it was simple.

Lemon, thyme and chilli marinade

I came up with this marinade to go with my spatchcocked chicken, it's the perfect blend of sweet and spicy.

  • The zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • A large handful of finely chopped fresh thyme
  • A heaped teaspoon of flaked dried chillies or a couple of whole red chillies chopped
  • 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons dark soft brown sugar
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
Mix everything together well then rub all over your chicken, leave for as long as possible, an hour will do but preferably overnight before cooking.

For detailed instructions including photos on how to spatchcock a chicken why not visit Mike at Mike's table HERE. I forgot to take photos of the preparation, sorry!


pigpigscorner said...

I roast chicken like this all the time now - cooks much faster.

♥peachkins♥ said...

I love roasted chicken because there is so much you can do with the chicken and so much you can do while it's roasting!

Your roasted chicken sounds really tasty.I'm going to try it one day.

Nicisme said...

Great idea and that marinade looks amazing!

Karen said...

I love to cook chicken this way on the grill. I always make a chicken-pasta salad with leftovers :)

Amanda @ Mrs.W's Kitchen said...

Fantastic! I have only spatcocked once, and that was years ago--it was good!

Foodycat said...

Simple? You must have MUCH stronger hands than I do! I've only done it once and it was hard work!

Anne said...

Looks delicious, really like the sound of the marinade combo. I agree spatchcocking is way to go, quicker and think keeps meat more moist and tastier! :)

The Caked Crusader said...

I've never spatchcocked a chickent - it's an interesting idea

Marta said...

I roast tons of chicken too, but never tried this technique1 Looks great, I'll put it in my "To Try" list!!!

Pam said...

I love roasting chickens but have never tried spachcocked chicken...I'll be trying it soon. Great rub!

Katie said...

Hi Sam,
I would never have though of putting chilli with a roast chicken.

I've given you The Kreative Blogger award. Visit my blog for details.

Margaret said...

We love spatchcocked chicken.
After marinading, it tastes amazing after being cooked on the bbq.

Anonymous said...

You need to buy this whole line:[]=tags&includes[]=title
If that doesn't work let me know!

Anonymous said...

I've been digging the spatchcocked chicken for awhile now, too. Great minds:)