Inspired by my chum Judy’s delicious roast chicken I have now made this twice and it is truly tasty. The first time I spatchcocked the bird myself (looked it up on the web), but only because I hadn’t worked out how I was going to cook it! Yesterday I asked my lovely butcher (Barratts in England’s Lane FYI) to do it for me.
First I cut great gashes in the flesh, then marinated it for 2-3 hours (or as long as possible) before cooking it. In retrospect I think the longer the better and at a lower heat, say 160 C. I did this one at 180 C, but it really could have benefited from from a longer, slower cook so it falls off the bone. Either way, both times it was scrummy. The oranges, caramelised in the honey and spices, make all the difference.
1 large chicken, spatchcocked
3-4 large dried chilis
3-4 star anise
4-6 garlic cloves
1 tbsp sumac
1 tbsp zatar
1-2 oranges cut into 6
Put the chicken in a large roasting tray and drizzle on the olive oil, soy sauce and honey, as much as you want! Then sprinkle on the sumac, zatar, and add all the other ingredients in the quantities you feel is right for you. You could add cinnamon, cloves or anything else that takes your fancy. Leave it for at least 2 hours.
Preheat the oven, put in the chicken, set the timer and then test it thereafter until it is crispy on the outside, but succulent inside. A 2.4 kg chicken, herb-fed in this case, took 1.5 hrs @ 180 C; but I would suggest doing it at 160 C for 2-2.5 hrs for a more juicy bird. Or 140 C for 3-4 hours.Leave it to rest before carving.
Marinating the chicken