Roast chicken is a Sunday food staple but have you ever tried spicing things up a bit? Food blogger Eat Like A Girl shares her favourite easy-to-do chicken recipe below (she uses a spiced butter to make your roast even tastier).
Good food does not need to be expensive. Sure, you should pay more for better meat when using it, but what you do with it after that does not need to be expensive or traumatic in order to get something really good.
I love chicken. The humble chicken is one the most underrated foods and spatchcocking it and covering it in a beautiful spiced butter reveals a simple and delicious meal in very little time at all. Buy a good chicken, a nice little fat one if you can. Use fresh spices - spices have a shelf life of about 6 months and when exposed to the air go stale quicker so make sure you keep them in sealed containers if you can.One of the best things about this is not the spiced crispy skin (although that is very good), or the moist luscious meat. No, one of the best things is the spiced butter that melts off and mixes with the chicken fat that renders as the bird roasts. Put it on toast the next day (you are welcome), or dress some freshly cooked new potatoes in it. It is a little wonder balm for your food.
If making for one or two, that's your lunch sorted for the next few days too. Leftovers makes a perfect sandwich or salad. Do use whole spices and if you don't have a pestle and mortar invest in a small one. They are inexpensive and so useful to have in the kitchen.
Recipe: Spiced Roast Spatchcock Chicken
1 small chicken, spatchcocked (ask a butcher to do this for you or do it yourself by cutting out the back bone with a poultry shears and pushing it flat)
5 green cardamom pods
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 heaped tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp chilli flakes
pinch of sea salt
Preheat your oven to 180 deg C.
Make your spice butter by toasting the cumin seeds and the seeds from the cardamom pods (just open and pull them out, discarding the husk) in a dry frying pan over a high heat for about a minute, until you can just smell the spices. Grind to a powder in a pestle and mortar with the chilli, sea salt and turmeric and mash into the butter.
Cover the chicken in the butter making sure you get it everywhere and then put the chicken flat in a roasting dish that will accommodate it.
This will depend on the size of your chicken - for mine which was 1.5kg, I roasted it for 45 minutes (basting occasionally except for at the end), then I tuned up the temperature of the oven to 200 deg C for 10 minutes to crisp the skin. This resulted in a perfectly moist tender chicken with crispy skin. If your chicken is bigger it will take longer. Normally you can check if the juices run clear but with the spice butter this is difficult, so to check, just cut into it and make sure the meat is white.
Eat hot or cold - it is delicious either way.