- 1 tbsp fennel seeds
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1.7 kg av. spatchcock chicken
- A handful of flat leaf parsley, leaves only
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp cold water
Get started: Make the paprika marinade. Spoon 1 tbsp fennel seeds into a pestle and mortar (or a sturdy bowl and jam jar) and bash until well crushed. Peel the garlic and grate it in. Zest in the lemon. Squeeze in juice from half the lemon (keep the other half for later). Add 1 tbsp each dried oregano and smoked paprika, a good pinch of salt and pepper, 2 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp water and stir till well combined.
Unwrap the chicken and pop in a roasting tin. Pour over the marinade and rub all over. Set aside for 30 mins to come to room temperature.
Cooking indoors: Heat your oven to 180°C/ Fan 160°C/Gas 4. Cover the roasting tin with a layer of foil. Slide the chicken into the oven and roast for 45 mins.
Remove the foil, baste the meat and return to the oven, uncovered, for 15 mins, till dark golden and crisp. To check if it’s cooked through, insert a skewer into the thickest part of a thigh. The juices should run clear. If not, return the chicken to the oven for a further 5-15 mins before checking again.
Transfer the chicken to a plate to rest for 20 mins, loosely covered with foil, before carving. Chop the parsley leaves and scatter over the chicken. Serve on a platter with wedges of the remaining lemon.
Cooking outdoors: Light your barbecue and bring the coals to a medium temperature. Place the chicken skin-side down over a hot part of the barbecue and cook for 4-5 mins, or till well coloured. Flip over and cook for a further 4-5 mins. Transfer to a cooler part of the barbecue and cook with the lid on for 1 hr.
To check if it’s cooked through, insert a skewer into the thickest part of a thigh. The juices should run clear. If not, return the chicken to the barbecue for a further 5-10 mins before checking again.
Transfer to a plate and rest for 20 mins, loosely covered with foil, before carving. Finely chop the parsley leaves and scatter over the chicken. Serve on a platter with wedges of the remaining lemon.
Know your grill: When lighting your barbecue, lay the bulk of your coals to one side, gently sloping 3/4 of the way to the other side. This helps to regulate the heat, giving you fierce 'direct' heat to brown your meat over, and gently 'indirect' heat to slowly finish it off.
Get ahead with your marinade: Be super organised and rub your spicy Spanish marinade into the chicken the night before cooking. Not only will your prep on the day be a breeze, but all of those wonderful spices will have been able to work right into the meat for an added boost of flavour.
Next week in the Summer Roast Box: Smoky Brisket with Mexican Sweetcorn Salsa. Tender, smoky brisket cooked till it's falling apart. A sweet and spicy popping salsa of sweetcorn, tomatoes, chilli and lime is the perfect partner.
Late summer squash season is starting. A few wedges chucked onto a hot grill work a treat. Marinade in chilli and cumin and barbecue till sticky and caramelised on the outside and tender in the middle.