Tuesday, 28 August 2012

spatchcock chicken with apple jelly and honey marinade

... isn't it funny how we're influenced by the little things in life... I went to the Alford Festival today, it's an annual festival of folk music and craft that has come on leaps and bounds since we first attended over 15 years ago... i've mentioned this many times before but many of the small towns in the UK are dying a death, with the locals happy to shop in the big out-of-town supermarkets they have to try really hard to pull in the crowds and these big festivals are exactly what we need to promote the excellent local talent... The Alford Festival has also always traditionally been the focus for many Morris Dancers who are so wonderfully creative with the costumes and dances, it's days like this that really do make you realise just how bucolic our life is here in the middle of nowhere...

... alongside the usual mix of arts and crafts stalls there was a delightful little stall selling local honey's and jams and i'd been thinking about a marinade for the chicken I was planning to cook when I found a little jar of mulled apple jelly and I just knew I had to use it today... I have also been sent 3 little jars of New Zealand Honey as a thank you for writing these recent posts and a pot of Beech Forest Honeydew was something i'd not tried before... it's hard to describe the taste but it has a lot of citrus notes in it along with something that smells a little medicinal in a eucalyptus kind of way... anyway I thought it would compliment the apple jelly and add a wonderfully sweet tone to the chicken...

spatchcock chicken with apple jelly and honey marinade
... i've seen quite a few spatchcock chicken's on the interweb recently and my good friend Jenny is also an advocate for the butterflying of chicken but I realise that I've never actually done it myself... it happens to be a great way to barbecue chicken as well as grill or bake and not only greatly reduces the cooking time but also cooks a whole bird more evenly due to the flatness... it is very simple to do and I found a really good video here...

1 chicken
2 cloves of garlic - crushed
1 teaspoon runny honey
2 tablespoons apple jelly
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon English mustard powder
a handful of fresh lemon thyme

- mix well all the marinade ingredients in a bowl

- spatchcock your chicken and then lay it in an oven-proof dish

- pour the marinade all over and rub it well into both sides of the chicken, then skewer the chicken with two skewers in a X shape driving the skewer through the thigh meat and on into the breast and out the other side, this will help keep it flat whilst grilling or baking, wrap in cling-film and marinade in the fridge for at least an hour

- remove the cling-film, replace with foil and place the chicken in a warm oven, roughly 170C for 45 mins... the foil is there because of the high sugar content of the marinade which you don't want to burn... turn the chicken over after 30 mins, then back again after 45 mins when you can remove the foil and let it turn golden and crisp up a little

eat and of course, enjoy!



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