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Cider-roasted spatchcock with potatoes, apple, garlic and sage

You will need to begin this recipe 1 day ahead.

You'll need

  Spatchcocks 4 spatchcocks 600 gm kipfler potatoes, scrubbed and halved lengthways 2 small red onions, cut into wedges 2 golden delicious apples, cored and cut into wedges 1 head garlic, cloves separated 60 ml (¼ cup) each olive oil and dry cider 4 slices flat pancetta, coarsely torn 12 small sage leaves   Sage marinade ¼ cup sage leaves, coarsely torn 1 tbsp thyme leaves 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped 1 lemon, zest grated and juiced 80 ml (1/3 cup) olive oil


  • 01
  • For sage marinade, process sage, thyme, garlic, lemon rind and juice in a food processor until coarsely chopped, add olive oil and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • 02
  • Wash spatchcocks and pat dry with absorbent paper. Place in a bowl, pour marinade over birds, turning to coat, then cover with plastic wrap and marinate for 3 hours or overnight.
  • 03
  • Place potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with cold salted water and bring to the boil. Cook for 10 minutes or until half-cooked, drain and combine in a bowl with onion, apple, garlic and olive oil. Season to taste.
  • 04
  • Preheat oven to 200C. Heat a roasting pan in oven for 15 minutes or until very hot, add potato mixture and cook for 20 minutes, shaking pan occasionally. Drain spatchcocks from marinade, place on top of vegetables and cook for 20 minutes or until starting to turn golden. Pour cider over, scatter with pancetta and sage leaves and cook for another 15 minutes or until golden and vegetables are tender. Serve with pan juices.

Cooking apples

When it comes to cooking, all apples (and there are lots of 'em!) aren't created equal. The glossy green Granny smith is arguably the best apple for cooking, especially in purées and sauces. Its natural tartness makes it ideal for relishes. golden delicious apples have juicy, aromatic flesh and are perfect to use when you want apples to hold their shape after cooking (as in our cider-roasted spatchcock). They are also suited to apple tarts and could be used in place of Braeburns in the apple, ginger and almond cake. Crisp and juicy braeburns, with a pink-red blush against green skin, are great baking apples, although some would argue they are best enjoyed when eaten raw. Another blushing variety is the pink lady, a cross between golden delicious and Lady Williams. A very popular eating apple, its firm dense flesh also holds up well to caramelising, baking and for use in pies. Dark red and elongated, red delicious are the least suited to cooking. They're best put to use thinly sliced raw through salads, where their sweetness is beautifully offset with a piquant dressing. Other great cooking apples include cox's orange pippin, lady williams and, if you can get your hands on them, crabapples, which make the finest tarte Tatin you could hope to eat (look out for the John Downie variety).

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Featured in

Aug 2007

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