1 tsp black peppercorns
seeds from 5 cardamom pods
2 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
½ tbsp smoked paprika
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp flaky sea salt
1.5kg whole chicken
splash of olive oil
For the salad
1kg heritage tomatoes (try and get different colours if you can)
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small pack mint, leaves roughly chopped
For the shawarma spice mix, toast the whole spices in a dry frying pan until fragrant, then stir in the smoked paprika, cinnamon and the sea salt. Tip the whole lot into a spice blender and blitz to a powder. Alternatively, use a pestle and mortar, grinding the whole spices first.
To spatchcock the chicken, turn over so it is breast-side down then, using scissors, cut down either side of the backbone to completely remove it (keep it to make stock). Once removed, turn the chicken over, then flatten it by pressing down hard on the breastbone with the heel of your hand. Make three slashes on each leg. Mix the shawarma spices with a good splash of olive oil then rub all over the chicken, working it into all the crevices. Leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hrs, or up to 24 hrs.
Heat the oven to 220C/200C/gas 6. Put the chicken on a roasting tray, dot with the butter, then roast breast-side up for 35-40 mins until the juices run clear when you pierce between the leg and body.
While the chicken is roasting, halve or quarter the tomatoes. Tip into a bowl and toss with a generous pinch of salt and pepper, the red wine vinegar and olive oil. Once the chicken is cooked, leave to rest for 10 mins, then stir the mint through the tomato salad. Serve the salad around the chicken for a stunning centre piece and let everyone help themselves.
512 kcals • fat 32g • saturates 9g • carbs 5g • sugars 5g • fibre 3g • protein 50g • salt 1.3g