Spatchcocked Chicken with Aubergine

You may remember that a little while ago I was invited to attend a Knorr event to meet and watch a cookery demonstration by Marco Pierre White. The day was a great success, with my expectations definitely being exceeded. It was a fantastic opportunity to meet Marco and to find that he was such a friendly chap keen to share his knowledge. 

Since meeting Marco I have definitely taken on board many of his tips, particularly when it comes to using Knorr stock cubes to make a paste, as per Marco’s Steak Challenge.
A few weeks ago, we were sent a huge chest containing and some lovely organic seasonal vegetables from Rod and Ben’s and lots of really tasty organic meat from The Well Hung Meat Company (both of whom offer delivery boxes) along with some obligatory Knorr products.
I’m pleased to say that I was very able to easily flatten (spatchcock) a chicken following Marco’s online instruction and re-create a recipe for Spatchcocked Poussins with Aubergine that Marco had sent us as an exclusive preview, ooh err. If I had got round to blogging about it sooner, it would have been exclusive to you too! As it happens, this recipe and lots of other seasonal treats by Marco are now available on the Knorr website.
I had previously bought pre-prepared flattened chicken in the supermarket, but had never tried it myself. On my first attempt I think I actually managed to de-bone the whole chicken and on my second attempt I just took out the backbone – which was much better!
I think it’s good to challenge yourself from time-to-time and this is a really great trick to have up your sleeve. It works particularly well if you are cooking food on the bar-be-que.
Anyhow, as mentioned in my earlier post, I also managed to re-create a fresh beetroot salad that had been served at Marco’s restaurant at Stamford Bridge which went really well with my spatchcocked and griddled chicken. The result was a lovely summery meal, and though I had cooked the chicken and aubergine on a griddle pan, it did have a lovely charred flavour and made me want to fire up the bar-be-que for next time.
Spatchcocked Poussins with Aubergine
Recipe by Marco Pierre White, posted with permission.
Serves 2
Blanching the poussins before you cook them on the griddle or barbecue helps speed up the cooking process so you end up with poussins that are tasty, with nice crispy skin.
2 Poussins spatchcocked (ask the butcher to do this for you if you can’t)

1 lemon
1 Knorr Chicken Stock Cube
1–2tbsp olive oil
1tsp chopped thyme
1 aubergine, cut into 4 thick slices lengthways

1. First, bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add in one of the spatchcocked poussins and blanch it in the boiling water for 5 minutes; remove and drain in a colander.
2. Repeat the process with the remaining poussin. This blanching process helps you cook the poussins through properly.
3. Set two heavy griddle pans to pre-heat. The pans should be nice and hot before you add the poussins.
4. Make the seasoning paste by taking the lemon and finely grating its zest. Mix together the lemon zest, a crumbled Knorr Chicken Stock Cube and the thyme in the olive oil until the stock cube has dissolved.
5. Spread half the paste over the skin side of the spatchcocked poussins. The great thing about using a paste like this for seasoning is that it sticks to the meat as it cooks.
6. Place the spatchcocked poussins seasoned side-down on the pre-heated griddle pans. Spread the remaining seasoning paste evenly over the unseasoned side of each poussin.
7. Cook the poussins on the griddle pan over a medium heat for 10 minutes, drizzle over a little olive oil, then turn over. Cook for a further 5 minutes.
8. Rub a little olive oil over the aubergine slices and add to the griddle pans, so they cook alongside the poussins. After 5 minutes, turn the aubergine slices over.
9. Check the poussins are cooked through with a sharp knife and, if needed, place in a pre-heated oven at 180°C/350F/Gas Mark 4 and cook for a further 10 minutes or until thoroughly cooked.
10. Place the griddled aubergine slices on a warm serving platter. Top each slice with one of the cooked spatchcocked poussins. Cut the zested lemon in half and squeeze over the juice from both halves. Drizzle over a little more olive oil to taste. Garnish with the sprigs of herbs and serve.

Thank you to Knorr, Rod and Ben’s and The Well Hung Meat Company for putting together my box of goodies.

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  1. Fabulicious Food says:

    >Thanks Karen, I did link it up with Simple and in Season and then forgot to add it into the round up! I'm having real problems with Blogger at the moment and very funny things are happening when I got back in to edit posts. Grr. Anyway, glad you like this!

  2. Karen S Booth says:

    >Just discovered this great recipe ~ I have aubergines and chicken, so this is on the menu later on this week…..looks lovely Ren.

  3. Fabulicious Food says:

    >Thanks Priyanka, that's the problem, too many things on the 'must-try' list!

  4. >Wonderful…..added to my Must Try list 🙂

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