zoom Spatchcocked ancho and cumin chicken with tomato salsa

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    Spatchcocked ancho and cumin chicken with tomato salsa

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    Spatchcocked ancho and cumin chicken with tomato salsa

    • Gluten Free
    • Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus marinating and resting
    • Cooking time: 1 hour
    • Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes, plus marinating and resting

    Serves: 4-6


    1.75kg chicken, spatchcocked


    2 dried ancho chillies
    1½ tsp cumin seeds
    3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    ½ tsp dried oregano
    1 tsp salt
    1 garlic clove
    1 tbsp tomato purée
    1½ tbsp light brown soft sugar
    2 tbsp cider vinegar


    ¼ red onion, finely chopped
    2 limes, juice
    4 very ripe tomatoes
    2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
    1 jalapeno chilli
    ½ tsp salt
    ½ tsp light brown soft sugar
    small bunch coriander, leaves and stems roughly chopped
    3 tarragon sprigs, leaves picked and finely chopped
    1 tbsp sherry (or red wine) vinegar


    1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6 (unless you’re leaving the chicken to marinate for a while). For the marinade, put the ancho chillies in a small saucepan, cover with boiling water and simmer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small frying pan, gently toast the cumin seeds for a few minutes until fragrant, then grind to a powder in a pestle and mortar.

    2. Once the chillies have simmered, open them out, discard the seeds and put in a small food processor with the cumin and the other marinade ingredients. Whizz to a purée and season, adding more salt, sugar or vinegar to taste. Rub all but 1 tsp over the chicken. Chill the bird for up to 24 hours to marinate, if liked, then roast, skin-side up, for 45 minutes or until cooked through.

    3. Meanwhile, make the salsa. Put the onion in a mixing bowl and squeeze over the lime juice; set aside. Put the tomatoes in a heavy frying pan over a high heat with the garlic and jalapeno chilli. Dry-roast, turning regularly, for 10-15 minutes, until the ingredients are blackened all over (the garlic will only take 10 minutes).

    4. Remove everything from the pan, slip the garlic cloves out of their skins and de-stem the chilli. In a pestle and mortar, crush the tomatoes and garlic with the salt to a coarse purée (or whizz in a food processor). Add the sugar, herbs, vinegar, ½ the chilli and the 1 tsp reserved marinade; work into the purée. Stir in the red onion mixture. Check the seasoning – if you like spice add the rest of the chilli, and add more vinegar, sugar or salt to taste.

    5. Check the chicken is cooked through by piercing the thigh with a sharp knife and making sure the juices run clear. Cover loosely with foil and leave to rest for 15 minutes. Carve and serve with the salsa and salad

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    This recipe first appeared in Waitrose Food, July 2018 issue. Download the Waitrose Food app for the full issue


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