Grilled spatchcock marinated in crème fraîche

Grilled spatchcock marinated in crème fraîche

By
From
Real Food by Mike
Serves
4
Photographer
Alan Benson

I had this dish once while travelling through France. It was elaborately served with a Sauternes sauce and was delicious. The essence of the dish is to use crème fraîche – the healthy bacteria in it tenderises the chicken and the curds caramelise during cooking. The squeeze of lemon juice is important as it balances the crème fraîche, which makes the chicken very rich.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 spatchcocks
200g créme fraîche
1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
extra virgin olive oil
2 lemons, cut into cheeks, to serve

Method

  1. To prepare the spatchcock, cut the bird down the backbone to open it out into a butterfly shape. Cut down the other side of the backbone and remove it entirely. Smother the spatchcocks in the crème fraîche and sea salt in a dish and cover. Leave to marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  3. In a large, ovenproof pan or baking tin over medium heat, heat a little olive oil and sear the spatchcock, skin side down, for 5 minutes. Turn the spatchcock skin side up and baste with the juices. Transfer to the oven and roast for 20 minutes until cooked through and crisp. You can also cook the spatchcock under the grill (broiler) or, even better, in a wood-fired oven. (These alternative cooking suggestions have a far more direct heat source and higher temperature, so would reduce the cooking time by about 5 minutes.) Rest the spatchcock for 5 minutes before serving it with the lemon cheeks.

Medicinal Benefit

  • Spatchcock is packed with good lean protein, essential for building muscle. It’s also high in an antioxidant called selenium, which helps regulate thyroid hormone activity. Spatchcocks also contain plenty of vitamin B, which helps convert food into energy, as well as phosphorus and calcium to build and protect healthy bones. Crème fraîche is rich in calcium and, with its good live bacteria (similar to those found in natural yoghurt), also has probiotic benefits for the immune system.
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