Classic Fodder

Surf Cafe Living: Spatchcock chicken

Photography credited to Mike Searle 

As part of an exciting new venture, we’ve teamed up with surfers Jane and Myles Lamberth to present you with their Surf Cafe Living Cookbook, a beautiful book which brings you the best of cooking, eating, surfing and living life by the coast. For the next six months, we’ll send you one of their gorgeous recipes in our email updates so you can test your culinary skills and your taste buds with these wonderful creations.

To get started, we’re including the recipe for Spatchcock Chicken with Salsa Verde. Put the apron on and impress your date at Valentine’s, this recipe will leave you wanting more.

Spatchcock Chicken with Salsa Verde

Everyone loves a roast chicken; it’s cheap, easy to do and a crowd pleaser.

Here’s something a bit different to try next time you are roasting a choock: Spatchcock the chicken for a faster, easier and more even cooking process. Once it’s cooked, you don’t carve the chicken, instead serve each guest their favourite joint, or go for a quarter of the chicken per person.

1. Begin by turning the bird upside down – breast down, wings on top.

2. Either with a sharp knife, scissors or – even better – garden shears, start cutting just beside the backbone, cutting through the ribs and along, going front to back.

How to spatchcock a chicken

3. Start the second cut on the other side of the backbone and cut all the way though. This will make the backbone completely cut out.

4. Spread the bird open and turn over, pressing down until it is spread out relatively flat.

A spatchcocked chicken

5. If you are feeling confident, try to remove the breast (keel) bone by snipping out along the cartilage of the breasts and slicing the bone in half.

6. At this point there are plenty of options. You can keep butchering until you have quartered the chicken, or roast it whole with lots of spices and rubs.

Surf Living Cafes spatchcock chicken recipe

7. My favourite is to shove some herb flavoured butter under the skin and a generous rub of salt and herbs on the outside. Mortar and pestle the dried herbs and sea salt to make a good rub.

8. You can marinate the chicken in curry spices and yoghurt for 24 hours. A salty brine marinade produces a wonderfully juicy chicken.

9. Roast the spatchcock bird on a wire rack at 200C/390F, catching all the juices below. Halfway through cooking use those juices to baste the chicken. Do this several times over for a crispy and flavourful chicken.

10. Serve with my crispy potatoes and zingy hand cut salsa verde.

Salsa Verde

Handful of roughly chopped parsley, coriander and basil

2 tablespoons chopped capers

4 anchovy fillets, chopped

1 clove garlic, grated

Sea salt

100ml (½ cup) olive oil

1 small onion/shallot, finely chopped

Hand chop and mix in a bowl to make a vibrant green herby dressing. Don’t skip the anchovies – they won’t make it taste fishy but it will deliver salty savoury goodness. Yum.


Get a copy of the Surf Cafe Living cookbook, packed with lots more tasty recipes plus tips for styling your home.  


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