To spatchcock a chicken essentially means to butterfly it by cutting down the centre backbone and flattening the whole bird out to one single layer. This achieves a few things: it basically halves the time of a regular roast chook, gives a much more even cook throughout the whole bird, and allows you to really coat the entire thing in your chosen flavours. This basic method of cooking works with so many different flavours, rubs and cuisines, but one of my favourites is this one using Native Australian Saltbush. The earthy saltiness of this local wonder-herb works so well with the juicy chicken meat and crisps up the outer skin so nicely which, for me when it comes to a roast chook, is a must!
I often serve this alongside some charred eggplant and zucchini but you can serve this with practically any veg or salad!
Spices used in this recipe
Cumin Seeds Ground
Cumin seeds are an ancient and versatile spice that are a staple in countless kitchens across the world. Cumin has a khaki colour and peppery and nutty flavour with tangy citrus overtones. It is a key ingredient in curry making. Use in Middle Eastern, Indian, Spanish and Mexican cooking.$3.45
Garlic is obtained from a perennial plant and is member of the lily family, and relative to the onions. Garlic powder has a bitter-sweet flavour and a pungent aroma similar to fresh garlic. However Garlic powder have been roasted and dried and thus have a subtler flavour than fresh garlic.$3.45
Australian Native Saltbush
Australian Native Saltbush is one of Australia’s best and most versatile native herbs. Like many of our native herbs, Saltbush was originally used medicinally by Indigenous Australians to aid in the healing of wounds or burns. Today, Saltbush leaves are widely utilised in cooking to add a delicious savoury, salty flavour as a healthier alternative to regular salt. An authentic taste of the Australian bush and one of our most versatile and most-used in our Natives range.$4.99
Also known as ground chilli, Cayenne Pepper is made of a variety of tropical red chilli powders, and is generally considered to be one of the hottest blends of chillies. Cayenne pepper is used in many cuisines throughout the world, as it is an excellent spice to add zest or heat to a dish.$3.45
In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice and the spices and herbs until you form a paste-like marinade. Pat the skin of the chicken dry before rubbing the marinade all over, ensuring you cover every inch of the chicken with flavour. Place in the fridge to marinate for at least 30 minutes – the longer you can leave it, the deeper the flavour will penetrate.
Remove your marinated chicken from the fridge 20 minutes before cooking. Preheat your BBQ to med-high heat. Place your chicken skin-side down and cover with the BBQ lid and cook for about 8 minutes, or until skin is golden. Turn the chicken over, cover once more, and cook for a further 15-20 minutes or until the juices run clear when you pierce it with a skewer. Transfer to a tray, cover with foil and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes.
If you’re grilling some veg to serve with your chook, do so now by brushing with oil and sprinkling with salt and even some added saltbush and grill on the still-hot BBQ while your chicken rests.