Greek Spatchcocked Chicken

Greek Spatchcocked Chicken Lauren Volo

Yeah, we know the name is hilarious, but once you learn this technique, you are going to be spatchcocking every chicken you see. The vibrant green marinade is made in the blender (read: easy). Leave time to marinate the chicken – at least 4 hours– but it’s simplest to do it before going to bed. You will sleep tight knowing dinner is almost ready for the next day.

Serves 4 

Ingredients

  • 1 (1.6-1.8kg/3.5-4lb) whole chicken
  • 120ml, plus 2 tablespoons, extra-virgin olive oil
  • 120ml, plus 1 tablespoon, white wine
  • 60ml,plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (from about 2 or 3 lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons dried mint
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt, plus more as needed
  • 12 garlic cloves
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 900g russet potatoes, peeled and cut lengthwise into 6 wedges each (about 4 potatoes)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Method

  1. Working on a large cutting board, use kitchen scissors to spatchcock the chicken (see the image below for a step-by-step guide). Place the flattened chicken skin-side up in a wide baking dish large enough to accommodate it with a little room on all sides.
  2. Combine 120ml of the olive oil, 120ml of the wine, 60ml of the lemon juice, the mint, oregano, salt, garlic, and bay leaves in a blender and purée until smooth. Pour the sauce over the chicken, turning to coat. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
  3. When ready to cook the chicken, preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F/gas 7).
  4. Place the potato wedges on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, toss to coat, then arrange them in an even layer, clustered together in the centre of the baking sheet.
  5. Uncover the chicken and remove from the marinade, letting the excess drip back into the baking dish; reserve the marinade. Lay the chicken skin-side up on top of the potatoes. Roast until golden brown and crisp, about 55 minutes to 1 hour. An thermometer inserted into the breast meat should register at 75°C (160°F).
  6. Meanwhile, pour the marinade into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the sauce through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium bowl.
  7. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest for 15 minutes.
  8. Scrape the hot potatoes into a serving bowl and pour over the sauce, the remaining 1 tablespoon of wine and lemon juice. Toss to coat and let stand to soak in the sauce.
  9. Cut the chicken into quarters, transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with the parsley and sea salt. Serve hot, with the roasted potatoes alongside.

TIP- Spatchcocking is the act of flattening a whole chicken, which makes it perfect for the barbecue or for roasting in half the normal time. It also exposes more of that marinade-soaked skin, which will crisp up nicely when roasted.

Follow these steps, with the accompanying photos, to spatchcock your chicken:

  1. Turn your chicken breast side down.
  2. Image 1: Cut along one side of the backbone with sharp kitchen scissors.
  3. Image 2: Cut along the opposite side to free the backbone.
  4. Image 3: Remove the backbone and discard or use for stock.
  5. Image 4: Flip the chicken back over and flatten the breastbone with the heel of your hand (yep, you'll hear it crack).
  6. Image 5: After that, it's ready, steady, go!

How to spatchcock a chicken. Image Credits: Lauren Volo

How to spatchcock a chicken. Image Credits: Lauren Volo

Recipe extracted from: Tasty: Ultimate (Ebury Press, £20.00) 

Photography by Lauren Volo

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