Pot-roasted spatchcock with olives and thyme

Murdoch Recipe Article Lead - narrow
Murdoch Recipe Article Lead - narrow 

A recipe from the Good Food collection.


2 spatchcocks (500 g/1 lb 2 oz each)

½ lemon

10 thyme sprigs

2 teaspoons olive oil

15 g (½ oz) butter

250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) chicken stock

1 fresh bay leaf

300 g (10½ oz) kipfler (fingerling) potatoes, washed, cut into large chunks

50 g (1¾ oz/¼ cup) kalamata olives

½ teaspoon red wine vinegar

Mixed leaf salad, to serve


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6). Wash the spatchcocks briefly under cold running water and dry with paper towels. Halve the lemon and place a lemon quarter inside the cavity of each spatchcock along with 2 sprigs of thyme. Season the spatchcocks with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then truss.

2. Heat the oil and butter in a large flameproof casserole over medium heat. Brown the spatchcocks for 8 minutes, turning occasionally so they brown evenly, then transfer to a plate. Remove the casserole from the heat and wipe out any oil with paper towels.

3. Pour the stock into the casserole. Put the spatchcocks in the middle of the pan, along with any juices. Add the bay leaf and remaining thyme sprigs and then place the potatoes and olives around the spatchcocks. Put the casserole over medium heat and bring the liquid to the boil.

4. Cover the casserole, put in the oven and cook for 30 minutes or until the spatchcocks are cooked through, the juices run clear when the spatchcocks are pierced through the thickest part (between the thigh and body), and the potatoes are tender.

5. Remove the string from the spatchcocks and then transfer to serving plates. Add the vinegar to the sauce in the casserole. Taste and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, if desired (it shouldn't need a lot of salt as the olives will provide some). Spoon the potatoes, olives and sauce around the spatchcocks and serve with the mixed leaf salad.