Spatchcock Mexican chicken with nectarine salsa
Homely roast chicken with a little heat and a cooling salsa.
- FOR THE SPICE RUB
- 20 ml cumin seeds
- 15 ml coriander seeds
- 15 ml smoked paprika
- 5 ml dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt flakes
- 5 ml crushed black pepper
- 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
- 10 ml brown sugar
- 1 pinch ground cloves
- FOR THE CHICKEN
- 1 free-range chicken - spatchcocked
- olive oil - for roasting
- salt - to taste
- 1 lemon - halved
- FOR THE SALSA
- 2 nectarines - cut into small dice
- 250 g cherry tomatoes - diced
- 1 red pepper - deseeded and finely diced
- 2 scallions - thinly sliced
- 1 small red onion - finely diced
- 3 sprig mint leaves - roughly chopped
- fresh coriander or flat-leaf parsley - roughly chopped
- 30 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 13 ml lemon juice
- salt and pepper - to taste
For the spice rub:
Toast the cumin and coriander in a dry pan for several minutes until fragrant. Cool, then transfer to a spice grinder and whizz to a powder. Combine the cumin with the remaining ingredients and store in a lidded glass jar. Keeps well for up to a month.
For the chicken:
Pat the chicken dry with paper towel. Drizzle with a little olive oil and scatter over 1/3 of the spice mix. Rub it over the skin and on the underside. Cover with cling film and marinate for several hours or overnight in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 200 °C.
Heat 30 ml olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan. A cast-iron pan is ideal. Season the chicken lightly with salt and place skin side down in the hot oil. Cook until the skin is crisp and brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer to the oven, still with the skin side down, and roast for 30 minutes.
Turn the chicken over, add the lemon halves and roast for a further 25 minutes, or until the juices run clear.
For the salsa:
Combine the nectarines, tomatoes, pepper, scallions, onion and herbs. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Season lightly with salt and pepper and toss together.
To serve, squeeze the juice from the roast lemons over the chicken. Offer with warm tortillas or roast potato wedges, salsa and maybe some chunky guacamole.
Side note: Use the spice rub for pan-fried chicken, roast potatoes and grilled prawns.
Reprinted with permission of Diane Bibby from her new cookbook: Bibby's Kitchen - The essence of good food, published by Penguin Random House Publishers.