Marinated in the right flavours, a simple roast chook provides an easy, nourishing protein that’s also spectacular enough to be presented when you’ve got friends over. This lemon, chilli and garlic chicken is particularly good as it relies on a just a handful of pantry staples. You don’t have to rush around getting too much once you’ve stopped off to grab a fresh chicken, but the end result is still full of flavour!
Note: In this recipe, the chicken is flattened (a.k.a. butterflied or “spatchcocked”) before roasting, which speeds up cooking and ensures more chicken is cooked sitting in the pan juices too. If you’ve not flattened a chicken before – don’t stress! It’s really simple. Do a web search for “how to spatchcock a chicken” and you’ll be a pro in no time. Roast it up, add some sweet potato and steamed greens and you’ve got the perfect meal!
Lemon, Chilli and Garlic Chicken
- 1 whole chicken 1.5-2kg in size
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3-4 cloves garlic depending on size*
- 2-4 tsp chilli flakes - add the larger quantity if you like it spicy
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 lemons
- salt and pepper to season
- Preheat oven to 180˚C.
- Peel and finely chop the garlic, or crush in a garlic press. Combine the olive oil, honey, garlic and chilli flakes in a small bowl. Cut one lemon in half and squeeze all the juice into the bowl (reserve the juiced lemon pieces). Add a pinch of salt and pepper and stir it all together.
- Cut the juiced lemon pieces and the second lemon into thick chunks.
- "Spatchcock" (i.e. butterfly) your chicken if it hasn't been done so already. In brief, this involves cutting in to the chicken along either side of the backbone, removing the backbone, and then flattening it.
- Place the flattened chicken, skin side up, into the roasting tray. Pour the olive oil mixture all over the chicken, then use your fingers to massage it in all over the bird. Then, arrange the lemon pieces in the tray around/on top of/underneath the chicken.
- Roast chicken until juices run clear and the skin of the chicken is starting to caramelise/blacken. For a 1.5kg chicken this will take about 1 hour and 10 minutes, for a 2kg chicken add up to half an hour of cooking time.
- Serve with sides of your choice; steamed greens topped with toasted almonds and sweet potato mash is lovely.