Come rain or shine, serve up this sumac-marinated spatchcocked bird, that can be barbecued or oven cooked, with a sweet, fruity accompaniment
- 2 small chicken
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- small bunch coriander
- 2 tbsp sumac (see tip, below)
- 1 tbsp cumin seed
- 1 tbsp fennel seed
- 2 tsp chilli flakes
- 2 garlic cloves
- zest and juice 2 lemons
- 4 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 250g natural yogurt, mixed with 1-2 pinches saffron, to serve
- 12 apricots, halved and stoned
- 2 preserved lemons, rinsed, seeds removed, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp clear honey
- 1 tbsp orange blossom water
- 4 tbsp white wine vinegar
MethodPut the olive oil, coriander, sumac, cumin, fennel, chilli, garlic, lemon zest and juice, pomegranate molasses and some ground black pepper into a food processor or blender, and whizz to a paste. Divide between 2 large food bags, add a chicken to each, then squeeze out the air and seal before giving everything a good squelch to coat thoroughly. Marinate for 24-48 hrs in the fridge, turning and squishing every so often.
- 1.8kg chicken
- 1 preserved or fresh lemon (see tip, below)
- 1 bunch basil
- 1 fresh bay leaf (or 3 dried)
- 2 garlic bulbs, sliced across the middle
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling, if you like
- ½ loaf ciabatta, sliced
- Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Stuff the chicken with the preserved lemon, basil, bay leaves and 1 of the garlic bulbs. Place in a roasting tin, season inside and out, then rub olive oil all over the skin. Roast in the oven for 1 hr, basting regularly.
- After 30 mins, nestle the other garlic bulb in the tin, then cook with the chicken for the final 30 mins. Test if the chicken is cooked by pushing a skewer into the thigh – if the juices run clear, it’s done. Leave to rest somewhere warm for at least 15 mins, catching any resting juices.
- To make the toasts, grill or toast the sliced ciabatta. Take the softened garlic bulb that cooked alongside the chicken and squeeze the flesh onto the toasts, then roughly spread over with a knife. Remove the preserved lemon from the chicken cavity, roughly chop and scatter over the toasts. Drizzle with more olive oil, if you like, and serve alongside the chicken to mop up all the juices.
- 100g plain flour
- 2 good pinches saffron strands, crushed in a pestle and mortar
- 6 chicken breasts, with bone and skin on
- 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 large sweet potatoes, about 1½ kg/3lb 5oz peeled and cut into large chunks
- 150ml/¼ pint full-fat milk
- 140g taleggio cheese, broken into chunks
- 8 tbsp grappa (Italian brandy)
- 4 handfuls seedless red grapes
- Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Put the flour in a large bowl with the saffron and some seasoning. Coat the chicken breasts in the flour mix, then shake gently to remove any excess.
- Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy roasting tin, then quickly brown the chicken all over. Cover the tin with foil, then roast for about 20 mins until the chicken is crispy and golden, then removing the foil for the final 5 mins of cooking time.
- Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in a large pan for about 15 mins or until tender, drain well, return to the pan, then mash. Place the pan back over a low heat, season, then mix in the milk and taleggio. Stir constantly, allowing the cheese to melt gently and create a smooth, creamy texture.
- When the chicken is cooked, put the tray back on the hob and add the grappa and grapes. Warm through, then remove from the heat and flambé by lighting with a taper. When the flames die down, return to the heat and simmer for about 30 secs.
- To serve, place 3-4 tbsp mash in the middle of each plate and sit a chicken breast on top, then spoon over the grapes and juice.
- 1 whole chicken (about 1½ kg)
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 140g fresh bread (about 3-4 slices)
- handful parsley, chopped
- 140g ricotta
- 100g Parmesan, freshly grated
- handful thyme, chopped
- handful basil, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 eggs
- 12 thin slices pancetta or streaky bacon
- Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Season the chicken inside and out, then place in a large roasting dish. Rub all over with the oil. Place in oven, then cook for 1 hr 30 mins, spooning oil and juices over the bird a few times during cooking.
- Meanwhile, make the stuffing. Whizz the bread and parsley in a food processor or grate the bread on the biggest holes of a grater. Mix with the rest of the stuffing ingredients, apart from the pancetta or bacon, in a large bowl. Use your hands to shape into 12 balls, then wrap a slice of pancetta or bacon around each.
- Test if the chicken is done by inserting a skewer into the thigh meat; when the juices run clear, remove from the roasting dish. Place on a serving plate and loosely cover with foil. While the chicken is resting, pour away any excess fat from the dish and tip in the stuffing balls. Cook for 20 mins until crisp and golden. Serve alongside the chicken.