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Perfect match: spice-rubbed chicken and rosé

Australian Gourmet Traveller wine match recipe for spice-rubbed chicken with pink grapefruit and beetroot salad.

By Alice Storey
  • Serves 10
  • 25 mins preparation
  • 1 hr 20 mins cooking plus marinating, cooling, resting
Spice-rubbed chicken with pink grapefruit and beetroot salad
Spice-rubbed chicken with pink grapefruit and beetroot salad

When you're first learning about wine, one of the things you soon pick up is that a wine's colour can give you a lot of clues about its style and quality. This is common sense, really: it doesn't take much imagination or experience to realise that a pale-coloured wine is likely to be lighter in body and flavour than a darker-coloured wine. Then, as you travel further through your wine journey, you realise that while this general rule about wine colour holds true most of the time, there are plenty of exceptions. Take rosé, for example. Just as you would expect a deep magenta-hued rosé to be full of flavour and even some sweetness, you would expect a rosé that has barely any colour at all - just the merest blush of pink, perhaps, or a light, salmony tinge - to be delicate, fine and dry. And most of the time you'd be right. But there's a growing number of pale pink wines made in Australia, modelled on the great pale rosés of southern France and elsewhere in the Mediterranean, that can also pack a mouth-filling flavour punch. This is the style of pink wine - pale but powerful - that's perfect for this dish: fresh and lively to match the salad, with enough body to handle the spicy chook.

Don’t necessarily judge a rosé by its colour – even the palest expressions of this pink wine can pack a punch.


  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 1 tbsp golden ras el hanout (see note)
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon, plus 1 lemon thinly sliced
  • 2 chickens, butterflied (about 2kg each)
Pink grapefruit and beetroot salad
  • 2 bunches baby beetroot, trimmed
  • 2 tbsp sangiovese verjuice
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 pink grapefruit, thinly sliced
  • 2 avocadoes, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup (loosely packed) mint
  • 2 bunches rocket, trimmed


  • 1
    Combine oil, ras el hanout, garlic, and lemon rind and juice in a bowl, add chicken, turn to coat, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • 2
    For salad, preheat oven to 180C. Wrap beetroot in foil and roast until tender (35-40 minutes). When cool enough to handle, peel, halve and transfer to a large bowl. Just before serving, whisk together verjuice and olive oil in a bowl and season to taste. Add remaining ingredients and dressing to beetroot and toss to combine.
  • 3
    Preheat a large frying pan over high heat, add one chicken, skin-side down, cook until golden and crisp (5-7 minutes), then turn and cook until sealed (3-5 minutes). Transfer to a large oven tray lined with baking paper and scattered with lemon slices. Wipe pan with absorbent paper and repeat with remaining chicken. Season to taste and roast until cooked through (25-30 minutes), cover loosely with foil and set aside to rest (5-7 minutes). Serve with pink grapefruit and beetroot salad.


Drink suggestion by Max Allen