According to social research, 49% of women under the age of 30 can’t roast a chicken. Apparently, this makes us bad women. Also, only 20% of women can bake a lamington, but we’ll tackle that another day.
Every Christmas, I throw my friends a pre-Christmas dinner catch up. We do presents, wine, dinner, wine, ridiculous desserts, more wine. It’s fabulous and delicious. It’s also a great excuse for me to buy many, many cookbooks in the name of ‘research’. Winning!
This year, I wanted to do something I’d never tried before.
So, in the name of impressing my friends and being a ‘better’ woman, I learnt how to spatchcock and roast a chicken.
Want to know what’s brilliant about this technique? It’s stupidly easy. It looks really impressive. And once you’ve prepped the chook, it just needs to go into the oven. That’s it!
Spatchcock, or butterflying, a chicken is very simple. It’s just a matter of cutting out the backbone, flipping it over, and pressing the chicken until the breast bone breaks. I followed this video from Food Wishes (Chef John sounds the way I imagine one of those jolly fat chefs you see would, he’s fantastic), all you need is a pair of sharp kitchen scissors, and away you go.
Preserved Lemon & Rosemary Chicken
1 whole fresh free range chicken
1 wedge of preserved lemon
2 small/medium whole lemons
7 cloves of garlic, 2 roughly chopped, the rest whole and in their paper skins
Bunch of rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat oven to 200* c. Place spatchcocked chicken into a baking dish. In the cavity under the chicken, place half a lemon, and a couple of whole garlic cloves.
2. Make up some garlic butter, combining the two chopped cloves of garlic with some slightly softened butter (roughly 30 grams, depending on the size of your chicken). Insert garlic butter under the skin of the chicken, massaging the skin to spread it evenly.
2. In a small bowl, pour enough oil to cover chicken, and season with salt and pepper. Zest the rind of half a lemon into the oil. Discard the flesh and pith of the preserved lemon, and finely chop the rind. Combine into the oil mix, and give a quick stir to mix evenly. Pour the oil mix over the skin of the chicken, massaging the skin to make sure its evenly spread.
3. Place remaining lemon wedges, garlic cloves, and a couple of sprigs of rosemary into the baking dish. Roast for around an hour. You can, if you like, squeeze the juice from the roasting lemons over the chicken half way through. The internal temperature of a properly roasted chicken should be 165*c (check this with a meat thermometer) or when the juices run clear when the meat is cut.
4. When the chicken is done, remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
The chicken wasn’t dry at all (the garlic butter takes care of that), and makes for awesome leftovers in a sammich the next day.
Wham, bam, thank you mam’. Easiest Christmas dinner ever.
Best woman ever? Well, not yet. I still need to learn lamingtons.