I have been ordering a lot from the delivery service. Shame on me. With all the rushing around, there has been very little time to shop and cook. So this weekend, I wanted to get organised and make some chicken that I could just pick on during the week. As I get older I am very conscious of eating healthy as much as I can, as often as I can. Especially when I have been baking. When I bake it is impossible for me not to eat the cake mixture and the resulting bake, so these days foods that fill me up more, without doing too much damage to my waist line are key. This is a lower fat version of the roast but I have included options for both in the recipe at the end of these pictures. Opening up a chicken in this way makes it cook more quickly which in turn means that it does not dry out so much. If you have not ‘spatchcocked’ a chicken before, I have included a step by step way to do it below.
Take all of string off the chicken and flip it over so that the more rounded side (the breast side) is down on the board.
Use the scissors to cut either side of the back bone. You will need to use some force as cutting through the bird is pretty hard work. Be sure to cut either side of the backbone rather than on it or it won’t be easy to do!
Remove the backbone. You can use this to make a delicious stock. I like to save them all up and pop them in to the freezer so that I have plenty for a good pot of stock. Once I have made the stock, I like to reduce it down (boil it until the quantity has reduced by half) and then freeze it in ice cube trays for easy use when I need it later on.
Your bird should now look like this.
So next, flip it over so it looks like this.
And place it in a roasting tin.
Next make small cuts all over the bird and put bits of the rosemary and the garlic in. This is key to making this roast taste gorgeous. Then take the Schezuan pepper and bash it up a little. You can use a pestle and mortar for this task. Sprinkle the bashed up pepper over the chicken and then pour over the balsamic vinegar also. Season well with salt and regular black pepper if using and drizzle over the oil and honey (if using). Then pop in to the oven and cook for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove it from the oven, and close the oven door quickly so you do not lose too much heat. Then baste the bird with the juices which have formed in the bottom of the tin. Then pop back in to the oven for 25 minutes more so that the chicken will have had 45 minutes in total at 200c. After 45 minutes, remove the chicken from the oven and check that it is cooked to check to see if it is ready, insert a sharp knife into the thickest part of the leg and press the knife down a bit. If the juices run clear and are not pink, then the chicken is cooked. If it is not quite ready, then give it a little more time. Then keeping the bird in the tin, cover it with tin/aluminium foil. Leave to rest for a good thirty minutes to an hour. This way the chicken becomes so moist and tender and juicy.
Once the chicken is completely cool, place it on to a plate and then pop in to the fridge covered and enjoy. It will be good for 3-4 days in the fridge if stored correctly.
1x 1.6kg approx, Chicken, preferably Organic and added hormone free
3 sprigs of rosemary, chopped in to small trees
1 bulb of garlic, broken up in to cloves and roughly chopped
4 tbsp of balsamic
1/2 tbsp of schezuan peppercorns bashed up a little
1 drizzle of honey (optional)
A couple of big glugs of oil (optional)
salt and pepper
ps; If you spot any typos, do let me know in the comments below. Thank you.