A spatchcock chicken – where the bird’s backbone has been removed and the carcass flattened – is a quick way of roasting a whole bird. Buying the whole bird also means you can then make a stock – the sticky roast bits and pieces from the bottom of the pan in this recipe help make a truly great one.
Roast spatchcock chicken with lemongrass-miso butter and crispy potatoes
The umami-rich combination of garlic and miso with aromatic lemongrass and spiky black pepper are quite delectable when melted on to crisp chicken skin.
Prep 20 min
Cook 45 min
1 large free-range chicken
3 stalks lemongrass
2 tbsp coriander seeds, roughly crushed
1 tbsp black peppercorns
5 large garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
5cm knob ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
3 tbsp white miso
80g softened butter
1kg salad potatoes
To spatchcock the chicken, turn it on to its breast and remove the backbone by cutting along each side of it with meat scissors or a strong knife. Turn over the bird, place your hands across the its middle and press down firmly to flatten it. Alternatively, ask a butcher to spatchcock it for you.
Discard the outer leaves from the lemongrass stalks, then roughly chop the tender parts. Using a small food processor, blitz the lemongrass to a rough paste with the coriander seeds and peppercorns. Add the garlic and ginger, blitz for another minute, then add the miso, butter and a teaspoon of salt, and blitz again until combined. Rub just over half of this mix on to the chicken, generously coating it with the marinade. You can now cook it straight away or leave it for 24 hours.
Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6. Boil or steam the potatoes until tender, then drain and turn them into a roasting tray. Crush lightly with a rolling pin or masher. Toss with the rest of the butter mix, season and arrange the potatoes around the edges of the tray. Nestle the chicken in the middle.
Roast for 30 minutes, by which stage the breast will be cooked. Cut away the thighs, leave them in the tray with the potatoes and roast for another 10 minutes. Cover the rest of the chicken with foil and keep somewhere warm.
After 10 minutes everything in the tray should be golden and crisp. I like to serve this with a green salad with beansprouts, Thai basil and coriander, or with stir-fried pak cho, or greens.