“Spice Rubbed Spatchcocked Chicken” from NYT Cooking App

Kirstin: Melissa Clark is VERY keen on spatchcocking chickens. So this is not the first time I have been inspired to make one of her recipes with the exciting part of spatchcocking beforehand. I’m definitely getting better at the part where you remove the backbone of a chicken, put it that way. Also the squashing part. And, as Melissa says in her video for this recipe, it is SUCH a good word! SPATCHCOCK! I particularly love it when she has all her utensils out and ready to use in the video. She is brilliant.

(And another small digression: I didn’t have any of the ancho chile powder for this recipe, so I found some of the dried whole peppers and ground them down in my new grinder which was very exciting, as you can imagine!)

And now to the recipe itself. The spice combination itself smelled incredible as I put it on the chicken. It’s one of the Top Ten recipes made from the New York Times this week and I could see why as I rubbed the spices on. However. There is just something about me and these spatchcocked chicken recipes that I am not getting right. Is it the temperature of the oven? Is it the length of time to cook? There is something that I continue to get wrong every time. While the chicken was not pink, it was chewier than usual despite me effectively burning all the spices on the top and also leaving the chicken to rest for a full ten minutes, or in fact longer as Tom had to edit something which took longer than I had anticipated. And I note that she adds olive oil before she cooks hers on the video, but not in the recipe. Maybe that made a difference.

So, the question is would I make this again? No. Would I try spatchcocking a chicken for Melissa? Probably not. No, not even butterflying one. But I might try spatchcocking for someone else’s recipe to see if I could get it right. And yes, that might be just so I could use the word again!

“Spice Rubbed Spatchcocked Chicken” from NYT Cooking App

“Oven-Roasted Chicken Shawarma” from NYT Cooking App

Nicholas (14): We’ve had this before, haven’t we?

Maureen: Impressively remembered. Yes, we have. It was the Nigella Lawson version from “Simply Nigella” [Editor’s Note; I just went back to see if I blogged about it. Alas, I did not. But we do love it so.] That recipe was based on this version, which I’ve also made before. So I was hedging my bets because I already knew we all liked it.

Andrew (17): What is it?

Maureen: It’s chicken shawarma.

Tim: I remember now. We all liked it.

Maureen: Indeed we did. Which is why I’ve made it more than once. This is from the new cookbook.

Andrew: What’s the new cookbook?

Maureen: it’s not actually a cookbook. It’s the New York Times Cooking App.

Nicholas [Incredulously]: An app???

Maureen: Yes. We’re embracing the future. It’s going to be great. We have so many favourite recipes that come from the New York Times. We will eat well this month.

Tim: Maybe there will be too much choice, actually.

Maureen: That’s a real possibility. I fell down the rabbit hole of options when I was trying to figure out what we were going to have for dinner tonight. This wasn’t even what I intended to make. But I stumbled across it, knew we had it before and liked it, so thought we’d just have it again.

Andrew [As he quickly polishes off his second one]: It was a good choice. It’s delicious.

If you’d like to make this yourself, here’s a link to the original recipe in the New York Times. 

“Oven-Roasted Chicken Shawarma” from NYT Cooking App

“Pomegranate-Glazed Chicken Thighs with Red Quinoa Salad” from Home Cook

Kirstin: I’ve been looking forward to cooking with pomegranate molasses, but never had the opportunity before.

Tom: Is that what’s on the chicken?

Kirstin: Yes, it’s what makes that wonderful glaze.

Tom: Well whatever it is, it’s awesome. And the salad is fab too!

Kirstin: I love all the herbs and vegetable textures in the salad. They go so well with the quinoa.

Tom: And the kids liked the chicken too.

Kirstin: They did! I do have to add that her timings with cooking the chicken were way off, but the end result was totally worth it. There is also a bonus recipe of a pomegranate cake at the bottom of the page. A little random, but still worth looking at.

“Pomegranate-Glazed Chicken Thighs with Red Quinoa Salad” from Home Cook

“”California Roast Chicken with Citrus, Oregano and Chilli” from “Home Cook”

Kirstin: I have never stuffed a chicken before, so I was curious about this recipe on two fronts.

Tom: Well I love it!

Miles: It smelled of Greece in the kitchen!

Kirstin: I know what you mean, Miles. The stuffing had pancetta, along with lots of other yummy ingredients.

Tom: And I love the red peppers and potatoes.

Kirstin: Me too! Must try and remember that for future cooking.

Tom: But I really loved the guacamole.

Kirstin: Wasn’t that amazing with the chicken? Wow! So good. It was indeed ALL good. Although her wording could have been a little bit clearer, if I’m honest.

“”California Roast Chicken with Citrus, Oregano and Chilli” from “Home Cook”

“Grilled Tandoori Chicken with Mango Chutney” from “Home Cook”

Sorry. I don’t have any photos for this. My phone died (a moment of silence, please), and I lost the photos I hadn’t backed up– which was only a few, but this was one of them.

This was the kind of brilliant dish that we loved so much  out of Melissa Clark’s “Dinner” last month. A tray bake that you bang in the oven and produces a delicious (but easy) dinner.

Although the recipe called for putting the chicken into baguettes to make them into sandwiches, we skipped that. Instead, we just enjoyed the chicken with some basmati rice, seasoned yogurt and the chutney. It seems as though that was a good choice, as when I looked up the recipe on the Guardian website, she did the same the first time it appeared.

This dish got a thumbs up all around. We definitely will have this again.

“Grilled Tandoori Chicken with Mango Chutney” from “Home Cook”

“Harissa Chicken” from “Dinner”

Kirstin: This recipe is featured on the cover of this cookbook. And I have to admit chicken and harissa is a total win in this household. Ella actually told me that she loved the harissa potatoes with this too, so that’s even better. Not as amazing as our favourite harissa chicken recipe from Gwyneth’s book, this is a very yummy and much easier version if you feel need for a little bit of Middle Eastern in the middle of the week. Also make sure to make the yoghurt garnish because it is just wonderful. And spread it on everything.

“Harissa Chicken” from “Dinner”

“Sweet Garlic Chicken” from “Dinner”

Kirstin: We like to celebrate Fridays with Fizz. We call it Fizz Friday and invite our nearest and dearest friends to share a meal. It’s usually chicken (except for the vegetarian who I cook fish for) and on this occasion I cooked this recipe. Having never seen rainbow chard before, I was pretty excited before I even started to cook. Such beautiful leaves! This recipe is essentially a roast chicken recipe, but with a twist. And it’s a good one. Once the chicken is 5 minutes from being finished, you add the chopped chard stalks to the pan, and stir in some chilli and garlic. Once the chicken is finished, you remove it and add the rest of the chard leaves to the pan over medium high heat, stirring until they are wilted. It gives you an extremely lovely gravy, complete with chard. Would I make this again? You bet I would! And I definitely need to do some more experimentation with rainbow chard!

“Sweet Garlic Chicken” from “Dinner”