Thursday 23 November 2017

Slow-poasted paprika chicken with butternut squash, smashed butter beans and tomatoes

Serves four


1 whole 1½-2kg chicken

2 garlic cloves

Sea salt and black pepper

2 tbsp smoked paprika — picante or dolce

Good glug of olive oil

½ butternut squash, about 1kg

1 x 400g tin of cooked butter beans,

or any other cooked white beans

200g cherry vine tomatoes, or plum

vine tomatoes

Handful of basil, roughly chopped


You need to spatchcock the chicken for this recipe. Calm down, don’t worry, it's not half as scary as it sounds! First, find your kitchen scissors. Remove the wing tips from the chicken. Place the chicken on a board, breast side down, and then cut along either side of the backbone to remove. Turn the chicken over and then, using the palm of your hand, press down on the chicken to make it flat. And that’s that, there you have it, a ‘spatchcock chicken'!

Place the garlic in a pestle and mortar with the salt and crush to a paste. Then, add the smoked paprika and enough olive oil to make a runny paste. Give the butternut squash a wash and cut into large, even chunks, leaving the skin on.

Lay in a roasting tin, sprinkle with sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Massage most of the smoked paprika paste over the breast side of the chicken, getting right into the leg joints, then rub a little on the bone side. Place on top of the squash, breast side down. Leave to marinate in the fridge for at least four hours. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. Place the roasting tin in the oven. After 30 minutes turn the chicken over so the breast side is up, and baste with the juices.

Lower the oven to 160°C/Gas Mark 3 and cook for a further 1½ hours, basting every 30 minutes. Remove the chicken from the roasting tin, cover with foil and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Add the drained beans and tomatoes to the roasting tin and warm through while the chicken rests. Once warm, gently smash the beans with a potato masher or fork, keeping them fairly chunky.

Season with sea salt and pepper, toss with the basil and pile on to a large plate. Top with the squash.

Cut the chicken in half or into quarters, depending on how hungry you and your guests are, and serve drizzled with those yummy smoky paprika chicken juices.

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