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Perfect match: marjoram-roasted spatchcock & Soave

You'll need

200 gm sourdough bread, coarsely torn 3 stalks of celery, thickly sliced 1 head of garlic, cloves separated (unpeeled) 100 gm flat pancetta, cut into 1cm batons ½ cup (loosely packed) marjoram leaves 80 ml (1/3 cup) extra-virgin olive oil 2 (about 500gm each) spatchcocks, halved lengthways 80 gm green picholine olives (see note) To serve: green salad


  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 200C. Combine bread, celery, garlic (reserving 2 cloves), pancetta, half the marjoram and ¼ cup olive oil in a roasting pan. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, toss to combine and set aside.
  • 02
  • Peel and finely chop reserved garlic and marjoram. Combine in a bowl with remaining oil and season to taste. Working with one spatchcock half at a time and using your fingers, lift skin away from body and rub oil mixture over and underneath. Arrange on top of bread mixture and roast until spatchcock is cooked through and golden (about 30 minutes). Remove spatchcock, transfer to a plate and cover loosely with foil to keep warm. Add olives to bread mixture, stir to combine and return to oven until bread is crisp and olives are heated through (about 5 minutes). Serve with spatchcock and a salad to the side.

Note Green picholine olives are a French olive available from Simon Johnson. If unavailable, substitute any green olive.

Soave is the quintessential Italian white wine. Produced in the north-eastern region of Veneto in the hills near Verona, it is bone dry, but when it's good - made by producers who reduce yields in the vineyard and handle the grapes carefully - it can also have an intensity of flavour and a fullness of texture that makes it an excellent wine to drink with robust, herby, garlicky food. In this particular dish, the textural qualities of the wine are enhanced by the fleshy olives and the bread, which soak up all those marjoram-scented spatchcocky juices beautifully. The most important grape in Soave is garganega. This is a variety with a rich, pulpy texture and a far more nutty, honeyed, white-grapey flavour than you'll find in the other main Soave variety, the rather bland-tasting trebbiano. Indeed, while most cheap Soave is made mostly from trebbiano, all the best examples are predominantly garganega. A couple of winemakers, notably Robin Day in the Barossa, have started experimenting with garganega in Australia.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Featured in

Mar 2008

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