I had my friend Leo and his mom over for dinner tonight and because it's been such a warm and nice and perfect-for-the-grill day, I made grilled spatchcocked chicken with new potatoes, roast asparagus and herby yoghurt. I've been wanting to try this recipe since I started the project, but I thought I'd wait until the summer and the wait was finally over today.
Spatchcocking is basically cutting a chicken open through its back and flattening it out so it cooks quickly. This is an ideal way when preparing chicken for grilling or barbecuing. You could ask the butcher to do it for you, but it's quite easy to spatchcock the chicken yourself. You can use a pair of kitchen scissors to remove the back bone of the chicken or you can also use a very sharp knife like I did.
Also with a knife, I slashed the chicken legs about 1 cm deep in a few places. This will help the marinade to get into the meat and this will also cook the legs in the same time as the breast.
The chicken was marinated in olive oil, lemon juice and dried oregano for a couple of hours in the fridge and no longer than that, otherwise the acid in the lemon juice will 'cook' the meat.
Pre-heat the oven to high and also a griddle pan on the stove. Season the chicken generously with salt and black pepper and then place the chicken skin-side down on the grill until it's golden and crisps. This will only take minutes. Turn the chicken over, add a whole lemon to the pan and transfer everything to the preheated oven.
While the chicken is cooking, it's the prefect time to prepare the new potatoes. I used the miniature ones, simply because I like the look and I feel like I can eat more of them. :)
Put the potatoes in a pan of cold salted water, then bring to the boil and simmer until cooked. Drain the potatoes in a colander and put them back in the pan with good amount of butter, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Put the lid on to keep them warm.
After 45 minutes in the oven, the chicken was golden and tender, but this is depending on the size of the chicken. Put the chicken on the serving platter and allow it to rest. Cut the whole roasted lemon in half and squeeze the juice into a bowl. Mix with plain yoghurt, seasoning and serve this with the chicken later.
Pour any excess fat out of the griddle pan and cook the asparagus in a single layer for 3-4 minutes until tender. When the asparagus are cooked, toss them in a little olive oil, salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon.
Pile the asparagus and the potatoes on the serving platter with the chicken and scatter some parsley and mint leaves - OH YUM!