Low effort, summery and delivers amazing flavour, this bird has everything going for it. If you aren’t convinced yet, know that a spatchcock chicken roasts in less time than your standard bird and the flattened meat means the skin gets really crisp. Easy to carve, too.
Spatchcock is just to say, remove the backbone from the chicken (sturdy kitchen scissors work well) and press down to flatten out the bird into an even layer. Ask your butcher to do it for you if you don’t want to do it yourself, or just roast four bone-in, skin-on chicken legs.
Serve with a salad (like this one) or some potatoes (like these) for a perfectly complete meal.
1 whole chicken, spatchcocked (backbone removed and bird flattened)
1/2 bulb of garlic, bulbs separated and unpeeled
3 large sprigs of rosemary, left whole
3 bell peppers, cut into thick slices
1 lemon, quartered
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp dried oregano
Lots of salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400F/200C/190C Fan.
To a large roasting tray, tumble in the garlic cloves, rosemary, sliced peppers and lemon pieces. Place the chicken on top and spread out the chicken to cover the vegetables. Drizzle the chicken on both sides with the olive oil, then season both sides heavily with salt and pepper, and with the oregano.
Give the chicken a little pat all over to ensure the seasoning adheres. Then place the chicken skin-side up in the roasting dish and roast for an hour, jiggling the peppers about after 30 minutes to prevent the ones on the edges from burning. Give the chicken a little baste in the garlicky herby juices while you’re at it.
When the chicken has had its time, remove the chicken and peppers to a platter and leave the meat to rest.
Discard the rosemary sprigs, then squeeze the garlic out of its skins (discarding the papery skins, naturally), and do the same with the lemon pieces. Give it a good stir in the pan to incorporate all the sticky brown bits, then pour into a jug. Skim off as much fat as you can. What you have here is not gravy, but a strongly flavoured sauce. Just a little bit drizzled over the chicken is all you need, and the flavours will be amazing. Make sure to give the sauce a stir before using as the garlicy bits tend to settle at the bottom.
Hack the chicken up into large pieces, then serve with the peppers, the sauce and another side of your choosing. Tuscan bread salad seems fitting, but potato wedges would be ideal, too.
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