THIS easy spatchcock chicken recipe from cookery writer Sam Stern is aimed at students and serves two or three, depending on the size of the chicken. Prepare more than one chicken if you have more people to serve.
1½kg small chicken
2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon, plus extra for serving
2 teaspoons paprika
Dried oregano, sea salt and pepper
Sit the bird on a board and turn it upside down with the legs facing you. Have a pair of kitchen scissors or poultry scissors ready.
Run your fingers along the backbone of your chicken. Place the open scissors, one blade into the cavity, the other on top of the bird and cut slowly down the right of the spine – alongside it, not through it – and then down the left.
Remove the spine. Turn your bird breast up. Hold on to the legs and pull it open. Now place the heels of each hand on the top and push down slowly but forcibly. You should hear a crack as the whole bird flattens.
Brush the chicken with a mix of olive oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle with the paprika and dried oregano and season.
Leave for 30 minutes or chill for a few hours until needed (return your bird to room temperature before cooking).
Heat a griddle pan. Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
Bang the bird/birds breast-side down in the pan and cook for 10 minutes. Press down lightly with a spatula occasionally. Turn and repeat for five minutes.
Transfer to a baking tray and finish in the oven for 10 minutes or till cooked through. Check and test – it's sizedependent. Don't over-cook. Leave to rest for 5 minutes and serve.
- Sam Stern's Cookery Course for Students in the Kitchen by Sam Stern, published by Quadrille Publishing,