Although it once referred to an immature male chicken, the word ‘spatchcock’ now denotes a specific preparation method. This spatchcock chicken with blue cheese and sage served with a berry and port sauce has the backbone removed and is flattened out. Cooking time is therefore reduced, and you end up with a crispier, delicious bird.
Spatchcock chicken with blue cheese and sage served with a berry and port sauce
- 1 free-range fresh chicken
- 150g blue cheese
- 15 fresh sage leaves
- Maldon salt, for sprinkling
- 250ml (1 cup) chicken stock
- 380ml mixed berries
- 20ml (4 tsp) sugar
- 1 stalk of rosemary
- 60ml (¼ cup) port
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- potatoes, roasted, to serve
Preheat the oven to 220°C.
Place the chicken, breast side down, onto a cutting board and slice through the back of the chicken to split it open without cutting into the breast side.
Turn the chicken over and place it on a baking tray. Gently loosen the skin all over by pushing your fingers underneath. Try not to tear the skin too much. Crumble the blue cheese and spread it under the skin. Do the same with the sage leaves. Cover as much of the chicken’s surface as possible with cheese and sage. Sprinkle with the salt and roast until golden and crisp, about 30 – 40 minutes. To crisp it up even more, heat the grill of the oven and keep an eye on the chicken while it grills for about 1 – 2 minutes.
To make the sauce, place the stock, 190ml of the berries, the sugar, rosemary and 30ml (2 tbsp) of the port into a saucepan. Let it simmer and reduce until slightly thickened. Add the remaining port and simmer for another few minutes until most of the alcohol has burned off. Add more port and sugar to taste and adjust seasoning. Before serving the sauce, stir in the rest of the berries.
Serve the chicken with the potatoes and the sauce on the side.
To drink: Make a jug of spicy, fruity sangria for something refreshing and a little different.