Last Saturday I was at the supermarket and fancied chicken with rice (as you do) so I decided to buy a whole free range and good quality chicken. I don’t care what anyone says, the free range variety does taste a lot better! I decided to spatchcock it and baste it in a marinade using anything I could find in the fridge or cupboard. There is something really fun about using your imagination with what you’ve already got at home to create something tasty. The chicken went great with a nice bowl of rice mixed with peppers, onions, garlic and a little Parmesan grated on top. As I used unami paste in the marinade, it seemed fitting to finely chop some fresh basil to scatter over the top and it really did beat the usual boring parsley.


Ingredients serves 4

  • 1 whole large free range chicken

For marinade

  • 1 heaped tsp unami paste
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 heaped tsp dry chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • a little fresh basil finely chopped to garnish
  • salt and pepper to taste

for rice

  • 200g basmati rice.
  • 1 red bell pepper diced small
  • 1 onion diced small
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • grated Parmesan to taste


  1. To spatchcock the chicken, turn it upside down and cut either side along the spine, then remove the spine. Turn it back around and push down on it until its completely flat.
  2. Score the chicken twice on each leg and breast. Line the tray with foil and then place the chicken on top.
  3. Add all the ingredients for the marinade into a bowl and mix well, then tip it over the chicken and massage it into the meat, making sure its all coated. Ideally you want to leave the chicken marinated in the fridge for 2-4 hours for extra flavour.
  4.  Preheat the oven to gas mark 6/200°C/400°F, then place the chicken in a tray on the top shelf of the oven covered with tin foil for half and hour. Take the foil off and return for another 20 minutes to half hour. Make sure that the chicken is cooked through before serving.
  5. Whilst the chicken’s in the oven for the second time, add a little oil to a saucepan and fry your pepper, onion and garlic up a little until lightly browned. Add the rice and mix well.
  6. Add double the amount of water to rice and cover simmering for 7 minutes then remove from the heat and keep covered for about 7-8 minutes until cooked. Add a little Parmesan, salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Take the chicken out and leave it to rest for ten minutes or so before cutting into quarters. A good pair of scissors works perfect for this job.
  8. Argue over who gets a breast or leg!


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