“A whole spatchcock chicken with Mediterranean-style vegetables, this is a healthy and hearty all-in-one dish made in a casserole or deep saucepan,” says TV cook Mary Berry.
“Removing the backbone of the chicken makes it a spatchcock and it is easier to arrange in the pot and to carve or joint. Double up for eight people, if you wish, and arrange two chickens in a large roasting tin, covered in foil.”
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, deseeded and diced
3 large garlic cloves, finely grated
100ml white wine
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato paste
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 small whole chicken (about 1.25kg)
5 bay leaves
1 lemon, thinly sliced into rounds
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon runny honey
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan.
2. Heat the oil in a deep lidded casserole or large, lidded, ovenproof frying pan over a high heat. Add the onion, fennel and pepper and fry for about 3-4 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds. Pour in the wine and boil to reduce by half.
3. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, sun-dried tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce, and season with salt and black pepper.
4. Meanwhile, put the chicken upside down on a board. Remove the backbone by cutting either side of the bone with scissors. Turn over and press down on the breastbone to flatten the bird; it is now a spatchcock chicken. Arrange the lemon slices and bay leaves over the chicken.
5. Put the chicken, breast-side up, on top of the vegetables in the casserole or frying pan. Season and bring up to the boil. Cover with a lid and transfer to the preheated oven for about 35 minutes.
6. Remove the lid and sprinkle the paprika over the chicken and drizzle with the honey. Return to the oven, uncovered, for about 30 minutes to brown and finish cooking.
7. To serve, spoon the vegetables onto a hot platter and joint or carve the chicken before arranging the chicken on top of the vegetables.
Mary Makes it Easy is published by BBC Books. Photography by Laura Edwards. Available now.
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Also read: Mary Berry’s Ultimate Chocolate Brownie