Lemon & Herb Spatchcock Chicken

By Angela Patel

At the height of summer the last thing you want to do is spend hours in a hot kitchen. Cooking a whole chicken can take a while but if you open it out and flatten it by removing the backbone, then the cooking time is almost halved.

Still relatively cheap, a whole chicken makes a great meal whatever time of year. In this recipe I’ve used the fabulous Cole & Mason Saunderton Herb Shaker to add a flavoursome coating of mixed dried herbs. It’s so easy to use and saves tons of space in the cupboard.

Simply serve this quick roast chicken with a mint and lemon mayo and a leafy green salad. Add sweet potato wedges or garlic bread to make it a little more substantial, if you like. And if you want to include it as part of a barbecue feast simply follow the tip at the bottom of the recipe. Remember to always check that chicken is thoroughly cooked through before serving.

Kitchen tools needed:

Cole & Mason Saunderton Herb Shaker

Prep:  20 mins

Cook: 45-55 mins, plus resting time

Difficulty: Easy

Serves 4

Ingredients

FOR THE CHICKEN

  • 3kg oven-ready chicken
  • 1 large lemon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Approx. 6 tsp dried herbs from the Cole & Mason Saunderton Herb Shaker
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

FOR THE LEMON AND MINT MAYO

  • 8 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped mint
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Method

1. Preheat the oven to to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas Mark 6.

2. Place the chicken, breast-side down on a large chopping board. Using poultry shears or strong kitchen scissors, cut along one side of the back bone. Repeat on the other side to remove the back bone completely (see Tips).

3. Turn the chicken over and gently open it out like a book. Using your hands firmly press down on the breast bone to flatten it.  Push a long metal skewer through each leg to the opposite wing – this helps to keep the chicken in shape during roasting and also makes it easy to transfer for serving. Place in a shallow roasting tin or baking tray.

4. Cut the lemon in half, squeeze the juice from one half and set aside. Cut the other half into wedges and place around the chicken. Brush some of the oil all over the chicken.

5. Using the Cole & Mason Herb Shaker, shake about 6 tsp of dried herbs all over the chicken – you can use a mix of all five herbs from the shaker or just a couple - whatever you fancy! Mix together the rest of the oil with the reserved lemon juice and drizzle over the chicken. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

6. Roast the chicken in the preheated oven for 45-55 minutes, or until it has a crisp and golden skin and the juices run clear when a skewer is inserted into the thickest part of the breast. Baste with any pan juices after 35-40 minutes. Cover the cooked chicken loosely with foil and leave to rest for 10-15 minutes.

7. Meanwhile, make the mayo by mixing all the ingredients in a small bowl with a little salt and pepper to taste.

8. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and remove the skewers. Serve with the roast lemon wedges, mayo and green salad.

TIPS:

Don’t throw away the back bone as it’s great for making home-made chicken stock. Simmer in a large pan of water for about 40 minutes with chopped onion, carrot and celery, a bay leaf and a sprinkling of herbs from the Cole & Mason Herb Shaker. Cool then strain and freeze for up 2 months.

If you want to cook this chicken on the barbecue, I suggest roasting in the oven for 35-40 minutes, then carefully transfer to the hot barbecue and cook for a further 4-5 minutes on each side. That way you’ll get the fab smoky barbecue flavour but also ensures the chicken is thoroughly cooked through without over-charring the chicken skin. 

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