I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love a roast chook for Sunday dinner
but there’s a reason it’s usually reserved for the Sunday dinner. It’s assumed that Sunday is the day we have time to linger at home, reading the paper, sipping through pots of tea and pottering in the garden whilst lovingly tending to the kitchen primping and basting a roast chicken for a Sunday night roast dinner. Whilst that all sounds ideal, we all know that unfortunately this isn’t reality in most cases. That doesn’t mean we have to give up our roast dinner…
With a few little changes you can have super tasty roast chicken dinner not just for your Sunday night roast but during the week as well.
The first thing we do is reduce the size of the chicken. Instead of using one large chicken use several Spatchcocks or Poussin which are just smaller chickens. Depending on their size they can feed between 1-2 people per bird.
The second thing which is so simple is to butterfly the chicken. This means flattening the bird by taking out the backbone and then pushing down on the breastbone to flatten.
What you need:
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tsp thyme leaves
4 garlic cloves
salt & pepper
1.5 tbsp Wholegrain or Dijon mustard
butter or olive oil
What to do:
Preheat oven to 200C
Firstly we need to butterfly the chicken. So turn the chicken with the breast side on the chopping board and the backbone facing up. Find the backbone which runs down the middle of the chicken. Using kitchen scissors cut on each side of this bone all the way through to the neck to completely remove it. Then turn the chicken over and push down on the breastbone to flatten it. Alternatively as mentioned above use a chef’s knife to cut out the backbone but you will need to have the backbone down on the chopping board. If this is all too much for you, ask the guys at the poultry shop to do it for you.
In a mortar and pestle pound the garlic and thyme with a pinch of salt and then add the olive oil to produce a marinade. You can just rub this marinade all over the chicken and skip the breadcrumbs if you wish. Season the chook on both sides with salt and pepper and place it on a baking tray and pop it in the oven.
The other way is to rub this marinade just on the underside of the chicken. Season well then flip the chicken on the other side, season with salt and pepper and then spread the mustard all over the skin and then sprinkle over the breadcrumbs. Pat lightly so the breadcrumbs stick to the mustard. To help the breadcrumbs go crunchy and brown, with a pastry brush spread some melted butter or olive oil over the crumbs.
Roast skin side up for 20 mins, basting with juices half way through. The chicken is cooked when juices run clear. You can also test the chicken by making an incision between the leg and breast and if the chicken looks cooked through that joint it should be ready. Let it rest for a few minutes and then serve with a salad or vegetables of your choice.
Julia Cauchi – Merci Mama
With a dream of spending her days in the kitchen cooking up a storm Julia left her career in HR and swapped her suits for chef whites and went back to culinary school. Based in Melbourne she writes a blog called Merci Mama which documents her adventures in the kitchen and is full of recipes inspired by her travels, experiences and background. She also has a catering business under the same name which focuses on seasonal, fresh, locally sourced produce. With a focus on creating bespoke menus to suit each client’s vision Julia is available to cater your next private or corporate event.
Email: [email protected]