Butterflied chicken with soy and honey dressing

Butterflied chicken with wilted herbs, soy and honey dressing.
Butterflied chicken with wilted herbs, soy and honey dressing. Photo: William Meppem

Cooking chicken butterflied ensures that the legs cook at the same rate as the breast, which can be tricky with a whole bird.

Ingredients

2kg organic or free-range chicken

½ bunch coriander

½ bunch mint

4 spring onions, with white and green parts

6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (half for rubbing chicken and tossing herbs, the remainder for the dressing) 

sea salt

freshly ground pepper

2 tbsp light soy

2 tbsp good, local honey

juice of 1 lemon

Method

1. Wash the herbs and break them into large sprigs with some stem attached. Cut the spring onions in half.

2. Take the chicken out of the refrigerator 2 hours before cooking and bring to room temperature. Prepare the chicken by turning it breast side down and cutting down the backbone with kitchen shears. Turn it over and push down gently on the breastplate. It should start to flatten out. Push it down further and you should have a butterflied bird in front of you. Remove the wishbone.

3. Preheat the oven to 220C (240C conventional).

4. Rub the chicken skin with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in a roasting tin and cook for 45 minutes.

5. When the chicken is at the 35-minute mark, toss the herbs in some olive oil and put them in the pan, over the top of the chicken. Ten minutes later, remove the chicken from the oven. Remove the herbs and set to one side. Cover the chicken with foil and rest for 15 minutes.

6. Roughly chop the herbs and place in a bowl. Add the soy, honey, lemon juice and remaining olive oil, and mix well.

7. Place the chicken on a chopping board, cut down the middle, then remove the legs. Cut the legs into thighs and drumsticks, and cut each breast into two. Put the chicken pieces on plates and spoon over the herb dressing. Add a healthy grind of pepper and serve.

Find more of Neil Perry's recipes in the Good Food New Classics cookbook.

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