Saturday, January 24, 2009

Step-by-step Portuguese-style chicken

Ingredients (serves 4)
* 4 (about 500g each) spatchcocks
* 1/2 cup (125ml) lemon juice
* 1/4 cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
* 4 garlic cloves, crushed
* 1/4 cup coarsely chopped oregano
* 2 tbs sweet paprika
* 2 fresh red birds-eye chillies, seeded, finely chopped
* 1 tbs brown sugar
* 2 tsp sea salt flakes
* Potato wedges, to serve
* Mixed green salad leaves, to serve
* Lemon wedges, to serve

1. Rinse the cavities of spatchcocks with cold running water. Use paper towel to pat dry. Turn a spatchcock breast-side down. Use kitchen scissors or poultry shears to cut along each side of the back bone to remove. Discard.
2. Turn the spatchcock, breast-side up. Use the palm of your hand to push the breast down to flatten. Repeat with remaining spatchcocks. Tuck the wings under the breast bones. Push a metal skewer diagonally through the wing to the thigh on the other side. Repeat on the other side to create a cross. Place spatchcocks in a large glass or ceramic dish.
3. Combine the lemon juice, oil, garlic, oregano, paprika, chilli, sugar and salt in a small bowl. Pour over spatchcocks and turn to coat in lemon mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 3 hours to marinate.
4. Preheat a barbecue flat-plate on medium-low. Add the spatchcocks and cook, brushing occasionally with excess marinade, for 10-12 minutes each side or until the juices run clear when pierced in thickest part. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil. Set aside for 5 minutes to rest.
5. Remove the skewers and cut the chicken in half through the breast bone. Place on serving plates. Serve with potato wedges, mixed salad leaves and lemon wedges.

Notes & tips
* For those who can handle the heat and like their food spicy, keep the seeds and membranes in the chilli when chopping.
* You can replace the spatchcocks with a whole chicken and roast in an oven preheated to 180°C, basting with pan juices occasionally, for 1 hour or until golden brown and the juices run clean when tested in the thickest part.
* For a smokey barbecued flavour, use a smoked paprika instead of the sweet.
* Marinate lamb backstraps (eye of loin) or lamb cutlets in the marinade for a barbecue alternative.
* Dried oregano can be used instead of the fresh, but reduce the quantity to 1 tbs of dried oregano. Dried herbs have a more intense flavour, so use in moderation.

Notebook: - Page 130
Recipe by Sarah Hobbs


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