This week we’ve been doing a little challenge to live solely on organic produce (more of this tomorrow). For Sunday lunch, I wanted to make something really special. Marinating chicken in spiced buttermilk makes it really tender and juicy, and flattening it means that it cooks really quickly and evenly. It’s especially good for barbecuing and means that you end up with really crisp skin. I can never be bothered to actually buy buttermilk, so I make my own by adding the juice of a lemon to the milk. You can choose whatever herbs you like – I have thyme in the garden so I used that, but anything will do.
You will need:
1 medium organic chicken
For the marinade:
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic
Salt, pepper, herbs
So first of all, to spatchcock the chicken, you’ll need some fairly hefty kitchen scissors or shears. You can do it with a knife but I’m far too cack-handed to attempt that.
Lay the chicken on its breast and cut down either side of the backbone. Remove the bone, flip the bird over and just squash it flat (ignore accompanying disgusting noises).
Now, mix up your marinade, bash the garlic cloves, grab a handful of herbs, and put everything into a large sealable plastic bag. Bung the whole thing in the fridge overnight, or for a few hours at least. Warning: it does look a bit gross:
When you’re ready to cook, either barbecue (start on the centre for 5-10 minutes then move over to the edge until cooked through, or bake in the oven (wiping off most of the marinade) at 200 degrees C/gas 7 for about 45 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. If you want to be really sure that chicken is cooked, stab it between the thigh and breast bone – the juices should run clear with no hint of pink.
And that’s it! Because it was Sunday and because we’re creatures of habit, we still had roast potatoes, veg and gravy, but just ate them outside in the sunshine. But feel free to serve with some more summery salads and sides.