Spatchcock chicken stew

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours

1 medium free-range chicken
2 carrots – chopped
1 onion – roughly chopped
2 inches of celery – chopped
3 cloves of garlic – unpeeled
Half a butternut squash
2 glasses of white wine
A little plain flour
1 teaspoon good quality vegetable stock powder
Rosemary and lemon thyme
Salt and pepper

Featured in:
September 2017

I love the summer but if I’m really honest with myself I much prefer the autumn and winter months. I love the chilly mornings and the cold evenings, the fire roaring and the promise of Christmas just around the corner. I also think the food during the colder months is my favourite type of food; soups and stews, roasts and slow-cooking. With September here I feel like it’s time to start the process of bringing all those warm flavours and tastes back into the kitchen and this spatchcock chicken stew is the perfect balance between summer and autumn. It’s actually such an easy recipe and you can follow my suggestions for veg but you can bung whatever veg you have in the fridge and a chicken in a pot and roast the lot. I served it with a creamy mash which made me very happy!

Pre-heat the oven to 160C.

I’m using my 28cm shallow round casserole dish with a lid which just about coped with the chicken after a lot of squishing.
Spatchcock your chicken – don’t be scared, it takes seconds:

Turn the chicken over onto its breast then take your index finger and third finger and run them back and forth along the backbone, just so you know where it is and get an understanding of its shape.

Take a pair of kitchen shears or scissors and snip along either side of the backbone from bottom to neck – remove this length of gristle and flesh and save it for stock or soup.

Turn the chicken back over, push down on the breast to flatten out the chicken and pull the wings over the top of the breast as shown in the photo above.

Spread out all the chopped veg and herbs at the bottom of the dish then lay the chicken, breast up, on top.

Season well, pour over a glass of wine and drizzle with a little olive oil then place the lid on and roast for 1 hour at 160C. Then take the dish out of the oven, carefully turn over the chicken and add a little more wine and some water. The chicken should be resting in a few centimetres of liquid at all times. Place the lid back on and into the oven for another 30 minutes.

Place a teaspoon of plain flour and a teaspoon of stock powder into a cup or bowl.

Repeat the turn of the chicken again but this time, as you turn the chicken back to breast up, spoon a few tablespoons of liquid into the cup with the flour and stock, stir it into a loose paste and then pour it into the liquid under the chicken.

Place the lid back on and into the oven for another 30 minutes, after which, take the lid off, turn the oven up to 180C and let the chicken become golden on top – roughly 30 minutes.

Take the chicken out of the oven, put the lid back on and let it rest whilst you prepare whichever veg you’re making.

Serve the chicken in the pot at the table and let your guests spoon out the vegetables and glorious liquid.

Eat and of course, enjoy!

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