Flattening (or ‘spatchcocking’) chicken allows you to cook it much faster, which keeps the meat moist, and the combination of rosemary, garlic and pomegranate molasses infuses the bird with bags of flavour. Serve with seasonal vegetables for a fantastic Sunday roast.
Course: Main, Serves: 4
Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6, preferably using top-down heat if possible. Remove the backbone from the chicken with a pair of poultry shears or very strong scissors. Place the bird on a chopping board with the breasts facing up and press down to flatten (you can ask your butcher to do this for you). Place inside a deep roasting tray and use a sharp knife to make 3 large slashes in each leg, deep into the flesh. Make 2 smaller slashes to the thicker parts of each breast. Slice each clove of garlic into long diagonal pieces and push into the slashes in the legs and breasts. Repeat this process with the rosemary leaves and squeeze over the lemon juice. Place the squeezed lemon in the base of the roasting tray. Season with salt and pepper and turn the chicken over so the underside is facing upwards. Drizzle over a little olive oil, add about 500ml of water to the tray and place in the middle shelf of the oven. Cook for about 35–40 minutes before turning over and adding a little more water to the tray, if necessary. Baste the chicken by spooning over the juices before cooking for a further 10 minutes. Baste again, then drizzle over the pomegranate molasses and return to the oven for another 10 minutes – the chicken should be cooked through and juicy. Allow to rest in the tray for 5 minutes before carving and serving with the pan juices.
Recipe and photographs taken from Great British Chefs: 120 Recipes from Britain’s Best Chefs, £25. Available to buy from Amazon.
- 1 corn-fed chicken, weighing approximately 1.5kg
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- 1 lemon, cut into quarters
- Olive oil
- 2 tsp of pomegranate molasses
- Freshly ground black pepper