Sticky cit­rus chicken with grid­dled av­o­cado & beet salad


You know those av­o­ca­dos that are as hard as rocks when you buy them, then refuse to ripen? Here’s the solution – cook them! Serves 4 Prep 15 mins plus at least 2 hrs Q Q mar­i­nat­ing Cook 1 hr Q

1 spatch­cocked chicken (about 1.3kg) 2 red onions, each cut into 8 wedges 6 beet­roots (we used a mix­ture of golden and pur­ple beet­roots, peeled and each cut into 8 wedges – wear gloves to avoid pink hands!) 1 tbsp olive or rape­seed oil 250g spelt 2 large, firm av­o­ca­dos 100g bag wa­ter­cress nat­u­ral yo­gurt, to serve (op­tional)

FOR THE MARI­NADE 1 small pre­served lemon 4 gar­lic cloves, crushed 2 tsp sweet pa­prika, plus a pinch zest and juice 2 large le­mons zest and juice 2 large or­anges 6 tbsp clear honey 3 tbsp olive or rape­seed oil

1 Place the chicken in a large dish. To make the mari­nade, rinse the pre­served lemon to re­move some of the brine, then sep­a­rate the mid­dle from the peel. Dis­card the mid­dle and finely chop the soft peel un­til it re­sem­bles a paste. Tip it into a bowl and add the crushed gar­lic, pa­prika, or­ange and lemon juice and zest, honey and oil. Whisk un­til com­bined, then pour roughly half of the mix­ture over the chicken and rub it into all the nooks. Leave the chicken to mar­i­nate overnight, cov­ered, in the fridge for the best flavour (store the re­main­ing mari­nade in the fridge, too), but if you’re short on time, 2 hrs mar­i­nat­ing will do.

3 Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Tip the onions and beet­root into a large roast­ing tin (if you use your best tin, you can serve the dish straight from it), driz­zle with olive or rape­seed oil and sea­son well. Toss the veg­eta­bles to coat and spread them out to­wards the edges of the tin. Place the chicken on top of the veg­eta­bles, skin-side up, and pour over any juices from the dish. Sea­son and roast for 45 mins.

4 Mean­while, boil the spelt for 20 mins or un­til ten­der, then drain and set aside. Halve each av­o­cado, re­move the stones and peel. Chop each piece in half again, if you like. Char the av­o­cado pieces on a hot grid­dle pan for a few min­utes – this will give them a smoky flavour.

5 Re­move the re­main­ing mari­nade from the fridge and very gently toss the av­o­cado pieces in it, then set them aside. Pour the re­main­ing mari­nade into a small pan and bring to a rapid boil, then con­tinue cook­ing for 2-3 mins un­til you have a sticky glaze.

6 Re­move the roast­ing tin from the oven, lift the chicken onto a plate and stir the spelt into the veg­eta­bles. Place the chicken back on top, dot the av­o­cado pieces around the tin and brush the thick­ened glaze over the chicken. Re­turn to the oven for a fur­ther 5-10 mins. To check the chicken is cooked, pierce the thick­est part with a skewer. The juices should run clear, not pink. If you need to, re­turn the chicken to the oven for a fur­ther 5-10 mins, then check again.

7 Lift the chicken onto a plate, cover loosely with foil and re­turn the roast­ing tin with the veg­eta­bles to the oven for a fur­ther 10 mins un­til the av­o­cado soft­ens. To serve, nes­tle the chicken back into the tin of veg, scat­ter over a few small wa­ter­cress leaves and serve the rest on the side with the yo­gurt. PER SERV­ING 1,020 kcals, fat 51g, sat­u­rates 10g, carbs 77g, sug­ars 40g, fi­bre 16g, pro­tein 55g, salt 0.5g

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