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Spatchcock Chicken with Miso and Sesame Seeds

by . Featured in AT MY TABLE
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Introduction

You can easily ask a butcher to spatchcock the chicken for you, but it isn’t difficult to do at home and can be curiously pleasurable. Just sit the chicken, breast-side down, on a board and press down a little until you hear a gratifying crunch. With a good pair of kitchen scissors or poultry shears, cut along each side of the backbone. Remove the backbone, then flip the chicken over and press down on the breast, to flatten it a little.

The marinade infuses the chicken overnight with a deep and musky saltiness, but not spikily so; intense though miso most definitely is, it works subtly, bringing its caramelly saltiness to the meat.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

You can easily ask a butcher to spatchcock the chicken for you, but it isn’t difficult to do at home and can be curiously pleasurable. Just sit the chicken, breast-side down, on a board and press down a little until you hear a gratifying crunch. With a good pair of kitchen scissors or poultry shears, cut along each side of the backbone. Remove the backbone, then flip the chicken over and press down on the breast, to flatten it a little.

The marinade infuses the chicken overnight with a deep and musky saltiness, but not spikily so; intense though miso most definitely is, it works subtly, bringing its caramelly saltiness to the meat.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Image of Nigella's Spatchcock Chicken With Miso and Sesame Seeds
Photo by Jonathan Lovekin

Ingredients

Serves: 4-6

Metric Cups
  • 1 x 15ml tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 4 teaspoons sweet white miso
  • 1 x 15ml tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 x 15ml tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 fat clove of garlic (peeled and minced)
  • 1 x approx. 1¾ kilograms spatchcocked (see recipe intro) chicken
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons toasted Asian sesame oil
  • 4 teaspoons sweet white miso
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh gingerroot
  • 1 fat clove of garlic (peeled and minced)
  • 1 x approx. 4 pounds spatchcocked (see recipe intro) chicken
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds

Method

  1. Mix the vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil, miso, soy sauce, fish sauce, ginger and garlic in a small bowl.
  2. Put the spatchcocked chicken into a large freezer bag, pour in the contents of the bowl and then carefully seal the bag. Turn the bag over a couple of times, squidging it as you do so, to make sure the chicken is covered with the marinade. Place the bag in a dish and sit it in the fridge to marinate overnight.
  3. An hour or so before you want to roast the chicken, take the bag out of the fridge and tip it out, marinade and all, into a shallow roasting tin, sitting the chicken breast-side up. Leave to come to room temperature.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/400°F. Cover the chicken with foil before putting in the oven for 45 minutes.
  5. Take the chicken out of the oven and remove the foil. Baste with some of the pan juices then drizzle the remaining teaspoon of sesame oil over the chicken and sprinkle over the sesame seeds. Put back in the oven, uncovered, for another 20 minutes, by which time the skin should be burnished, the chicken cooked through and the juices caramelised.
  6. Cut into quarters, or completely joint the chicken if you want it to serve more than 4, and pour the dark golden pan juices over the top.
  1. Mix the vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil, miso, soy sauce, fish sauce, ginger and garlic in a small bowl.
  2. Put the spatchcocked chicken into a large freezer bag, pour in the contents of the bowl and then carefully seal the bag. Turn the bag over a couple of times, squidging it as you do so, to make sure the chicken is covered with the marinade. Place the bag in a dish and sit it in the fridge to marinate overnight.
  3. An hour or so before you want to roast the chicken, take the bag out of the fridge and tip it out, marinade and all, into a shallow roasting tin, sitting the chicken breast-side up. Leave to come to room temperature.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/400°F. Cover the chicken with foil before putting in the oven for 45 minutes.
  5. Take the chicken out of the oven and remove the foil. Baste with some of the pan juices then drizzle the remaining teaspoon of sesame oil over the chicken and sprinkle over the sesame seeds. Put back in the oven, uncovered, for another 20 minutes, by which time the skin should be burnished, the chicken cooked through and the juices caramelised.
  6. Cut into quarters, or completely joint the chicken if you want it to serve more than 4, and pour the dark golden pan juices over the top.

Additional Information

MAKE AHEAD / STORE:
It is not advisable to make ahead but you can refrigerate leftovers, within 2 hours of cooking, in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Eat cold.

MAKE AHEAD / STORE:
It is not advisable to make ahead but you can refrigerate leftovers, within 2 hours of cooking, in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Eat cold.

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What 2 Others have said

  • This was my go to dish of 2021, everyone I have served it to loves it. I make it most weeks with steamed jasmine rice and asian greens. Absolutely delicious and addictive.

    Posted by JennyThompson on 8th January 2022
  • Delicious! Whole chickens aren't sold in Japan, so I did this tray-bake style, using boned, skin-on chicken thighs. Served over brown rice with a medley of green vegetables and shiitake on the side.

    Posted by Fan in Japan on 3rd October 2021
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