Spatchcocked Chicken with Lemon, Garlic & Moroccan Spices
If you want uniformly juicy, whole, grilled chicken in half the time then you need to take a few minutes to spatchcock it writes Sandra Tate……and no, it’s not difficult. I bought a hefty corn fed bird, about 1.6kg. Using a large kitchen knife, or poultry scissors, cut from one side of the neck down to the ‘parson’s nose’ and the same from the other side – so as to completely remove the backbone. Now open the bird a little, place one hand over the other in the centre of the breast bone and press down (you will hear a sharp crack) and your bird will now be flat. Now cut the skin between the thigh and the carcass so as to be able to gently pull the legs back into a knock-kneed position. We’re ready to roll!
In a bowl, mix together 2 tsp salt; 2 cloves garlic, crushed & finely chopped; 50ml olive oil; juice of a lemon and a very good grinding of Moroccan Spice Blend (or a rounded tsp of Ras el Hanout) then brush liberally over the chicken (skin side mainly) and leave to stand while you prepare the Kamado Joe. With your charcoal lit, adjust the vents to achieve a good constant roasting/grilling temperature of 230°C and place the grill at rim level. Once the temperature is settled place the spatchcocked chicken skin side up on the grill (I place a large bunch of garden herbs – sage and rosemary – underneath is but this isn’t obligatory). After 40 minutes start to probe the thickest part of the thigh and wing at the joint until the internal temperature is over 72°C. Mine took around 45 minutes and I then turned it briefly to give the skin a healthy crispness.
I gave a fresh grinding of Moroccan spices to the bird as it left the grill and served it with chilli roasted root vegetables, wedges of lemon and rocket leaves. The succulence and flavour of the chicken was spectacular – good old Joe!