Spicy Spatchcock, Chilli Aubergines, Sesame Greens & Raita

This is a great summer time supper that my family and I are really enjoying as the weather starts to warm up. The yoghurt marinade that the chicken is baked in keeps the chicken so succulent that the leftovers during the week are worth keeping. The green beans and sesame have a great crunch to them which pairs beautifully with the soft baked aubergines. The fresh raita is a perfect addition to cool down the kick of the chilli - if you can't handle the heat!

Spicy Spatchcock Chicken

I am using a medium - large chicken that can feed 4-6 people. Essentially spatchcock means a chicken that has been split open. I'm sure there is a fancy way of doing this, but I just hacked it open using a big old meat knife or you could snip it open with kitchen scissors (which is probably a lot easier!). You should cut the chicken along the side of the backbone (not the breast side), then pull and snap both end parts so the chicken lies flat. This recipe works much better with the spatchcocked chicken as the yoghurt marinade really softens and flavours the meat, for quite possibly the most succulent bake!

Spices

The amounts of the spices above are only just a guideline, there's no rule as to how much or how little you should add so definitely just play around with whatever works for you. Click on the links in the spices above if you want to see how to make some of these Sri Lankan kitchen cupboard staples. 

Mix up all the spices with the yoghurt and malt vinegar to make a lovely smooth paste. Then roll up your sleeves to get down and dirty and give this chicken a good old marinade! Rub the marinade onto both the front and back of the chicken. If you lift up the skin on top of the breasts you can also rub a layer in between the breast meat and skin which really helps the flavours infuse. This is best left wrapped and refrigerated overnight, however I am quite an impatient cook so I usually just bang it straight in the oven. 

Roasting

To roast the spatchcocked chicken, place in a preheated oven at either Gas 240°C / Fan 220°C for 1 hour with the foil wrapped on. Then remove the foil and bake for a further 15-20 mins at a reduced temperature of Gas 200°C / Fan 180°C to brown the skin. This will leave you with the most deliciously crispy skin and succulent meat that will literally fall off the bone - yum!

Chilli Aubergines

These baked aubergines are soft and delicious either hot or cold. Mixed with the crunchy onions, roasted garlic and fragrant tumeric it's the perfect summer veggie roast. Tumeric is super good for your body, its a great antioxidant and anti-inflammatory so these veggies are wrapped in both goodness and flavour. You will need:

  • 2 large aubergines
  • 3 red onions
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of chilli flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon of tumeric
  •  1 teaspoon of salt
  • 5 good glugs of olive oil

Chop up the aubergines however you like, I keep mine fairly chunky but a nice size for a forkful. Then slice your red onion into eighths and peel apart some of the chunks and keep others together. Crush the garlic cloves with a good thump so that they are crushed but still remain as a whole (you can keep the skins on or off). All this rough chopping means that there is a great mix of flavours and textures from the crunchy onions to soft aubergines. Then mix the veg with the chilli flakes, salt, tumeric and olive oil. You can leave these to rest overnight or if you're impatient like me then toss them straight into the oven. I put these into the oven after a good 40-50 minutes of the chicken baking. They can sit in the oven for the remainder of the time with the chicken (usually about 30 minutes).

Sesame Greens

I absolutely love green beans and these are super snappy for that fresh crunch! As I've mentioned in a previous post sesame seeds are so good for you, so using them in this dish for that subtle nutty flavour and also knowing that you get extra health benefits, its definitely worth adding in. 

  • 500g green beans
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic sliced
  • 5 curry leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil or olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of roasted sesame seeds 

Heat up a good glug of either coconut oil or olive oil in a heavy based pan at a medium heat till it gets hot. Then tear apart the curry leaves with your hands and sprinkle them into the hot oil, straight after this add in the chopped onion. Leave these to sweat for a few minutes until the onions are soft but not brown, then add in the sliced garlic. Once the garlic has been cooked off a bit add in the green beans and turn the heat to low. Simply keep tossing the green beans for about 5-10 mins on a low heat and add some salt to help them let out a little moisture, you know when they have that al dente snap when the green becomes more vibrant and the outside of the bean is cooked (eating them inbetween is also a cheeky way of checking!). In a separate pan, gently roast the sesame seeds until they are a golden brown. Then mix everything together for the most simple, fresh crunchy greens!

Raita

This raita works perfectly to cool down the heat of the crispy chicken skin and chilli aubergines. It's so fresh and super simple to make!

  • 1/2 tub of natural yoghurt
  • 1/3 of a cucumber
  • 1/4 bunch of coriander

Chop the cucumber into small pieces (maybe chop each disc into 6 pieces) and chop the coriander into 1cm pieces. Then mix in with the yoghurt for a refreshing summer side.