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Grilled spatchcock with garlic, chilli & spring onion

Grilled spatchcock with garlic, chilli & spring onion

Top Sydney chef Mark Jensen is passionate about making sustainable food choices – from buying seasonal produce and growing your own vegies to using all parts of the animal. His striking new book, The Urban Chef, includes simple recipes and evocative photography mixed with hints and inspiration about ethical food production and consumption.

4 Serves / main

  • 4 x 500g spatchcocks (poussins)
  • 8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 long red chillies, finely chopped
  • 6 small red chillies, finely chopped
  • 12 spring onions (scallions), white part bashed with the back of a knife (slice some of the green tops for garnish)
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • finely grated zest and juice of 2 lemons 200ml olive oil
  • 100g butter, at room temperature

Using kitchen scissors, cut the spatchcock along its backbone from the back to the front. Gently open the spatchcock up, turn it over and lay it on a chopping board, bone side down. Press down on the spatchcock to splay it flat. Repeat for the other spatchcocks. Wash the spatchcocks under cold running water, then pat dry with paper towel.

To make the marinade, place the garlic, chillies, white part of the spring onion, sea salt and white pepper in a mortar. Bash to combine the ingredients, then stir through the lemon zest and juice and olive oil. Place the spatchcocks in a large non-reactive mixing bowl and rub with the marinade. Refrigerate for 2 hours, or overnight for the best result.

Remove the spatchcocks from the marinade and wipe off the excess. Place the marinade in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Continue to boil for 2 minutes then add the butter and stir to combine. Remove the pan from the heat.

The spatchcocks are best cooked over charcoal but good results can be achieved by using a gas barbecue. Preheat your barbecue grill to medium-high. Place the spatchcocks, skin side down, on the barbecue and grill for 3 minutes, basting them constantly with the marinade. Pick them up and give them a quarter turn, place them skin side down again, and cook for another 3 minutes. Turn the spatchcocks over and repeat the cooking process, but this time you may need to cook them for 5-6 minutes before turning. To see if they are cooked, prick the leg with a fork – the juice should run clear. Scatter the spring onion greens over the spatchcocks and serve.

The Urban Cook, Cooking and Eating for a Sustainable Future
by Mark Jensen, published by Murdoch Books.