This is an adaptation of a spatchcock recipe from the 2007 Annual Gourmet Travellers Cook Book. Conceptually, I love spatchcock but the reality of all those teeny tiny bones, particularly with Ankle Biters at the dinner table puts me off. I remember in my younger child free days having a dinner party one night for which I actually deboned and stuffed quail. What on Bob’s green earth was I thinking? I cannot imagine ever having an urge to debone a quail again.

Boneless quail reminisces aside, I went for a chook in place of spatchcock. I also expanded the vegetable mix in a fit of excitement that cold weather vegetables like turnips are starting to appear. Surely apple, potato, turnip, garlic and sage was a marriage made in heaven. Or more likely an orgy than a marriage with so many parties involved. Enough of that! I do try and keep it clean in blog land.

Cider roasted chicken with potatoes, turnip, apple, garlic and sage
1 free range or organic chicken
8 new potatoes
1 leek, cut in 4 pieces
1 turnip, cut in wedges
2 golden delicious apples, cored and cut in wedges
1 head of garlic, cloves separated and skin removed
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup dry apple cider (don’t use Strongbow if possible, it’s pear)
4 slices hot pancetta, roughly torn
20 small sage leaves
Sage Marinade
1 cup sage leaves
3 tablespoon thyme leaves
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup olive oil

To make marinade, place all ingredients in thermomix or food processor until coarsely chopped (5 seconds on speed 5 in thermomix).
Cut out backbone of chicken. Place flat on baking tray. Cover with marinade and refrigerate for at least 3 hours (or overnight).
Parboil potatoes until half cooked. Combine in a bowl with leek, turnip, apple and oil.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Place chicken in oven and cook for 1 hour.
Turn heat up to 200 degrees. Add potato mix to baking dish. Cook for another 20 – 25 minutes.
Scatter pancetta and sage leaves over chicken, baste and pour cider over top. Cook for another 15 minutes. Serve with pan juices.

I served this with steamed broccoli and green beans and a side dish of carrot, cauliflower and corn au gratin. I made the white sauce for the gratin after the marinade without washing the thermomix bowl so it took on the sage, garlic and thyme flavour of the marinade. I put it in the oven at the same time as the potato mix.

Here is the fowl in the marinating stage and the cooked stage.

marinating.jpg        roast-chook.jpg