Chef's Recipes

Spatchcock, freekeh, pickled tomatoes and harissa yoghurt

Recipe for spatchcock, freekeh, pickled tomatoes and harissa yoghurt from Gordita in Brisbane.

  • Serves 4
  • 1 hr preparation
  • 50 mins cooking plus pickling
Spatchcock, freekeh, pickled tomatoes and harissa yoghurt
Spatchcock, freekeh, pickled tomatoes and harissa yoghurt

"I would love to make Gordita's spatchcock for my next dinner party. May I have the recipe?"
Bronwyn Hayes, New Farm, Qld
To request a recipe, email or send us a message via Facebook. Please include the restaurant's name and address, as well as your name and address. Please note that because of the volume of requests we receive, we can only publish a selection in the magazine.


  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 spatchcock (600gm each), at room temperature, halved, backbone removed
  • ½ cup upland cress or small watercress sprigs (see note)
Pickled tomatoes
  • 250 gm (1 punnet) cherry tomatoes
  • 250 gm caster sugar
  • 250 ml (1 cup) white wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp each fennel seeds and coriander seeds
  • ½ star anise
  • ¼ cinnamon quill
Sherry dressing
  • 125 ml (½ cup) sherry vinegar
  • 85 gm brown sugar
  • 1 small piece dried orange or mandarin peel
  • 1/8 (1 tip) star anise
  • ¼ cinnamon quill
  • ¼ long red chilli
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 360 gm (2 cups) freekeh (see note)
  • 1½ tbsp ras el hanout
  • 6 piquillo peppers, quartered lengthways (see note)
  • 3 radishes, cut into julienne
  • ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
Harissa yoghurt
  • 250 gm Greek yoghurt
  • 3 tsp harissa, or to taste


  • 1
    For pickled tomatoes, score the base of each tomato to let the pickling mixture seep in, then transfer to a bowl. Bring sugar and 250ml water to the boil, and add vinegar and spices. Cool slightly (1 minute), then pour over tomatoes. Top with a piece of scrunched-up and flattened baking paper to keep tomatoes submerged, cover with a lid and stand at room temperature for 3 days. Refrigerate once pickled.
  • 2
    For sherry dressing, bring ingredients to the boil in a saucepan, then simmer to reduce by half (3-5 minutes). Strain (discard solids).
  • 3
    For harissa yoghurt, combine ingredients in a bowl.
  • 4
    Dry-roast freekeh and ras el hanout in a saucepan over medium heat until fragrant (1 minute). Add 625ml water, cover and simmer until tender and liquid is absorbed (25-30 minutes). Stand covered for 20 minutes, then add peppers, radishes, parsley, drained pickled tomatoes and sherry dressing to taste.
  • 5
    Preheat oven to 220C. Remove wing tips from spatchcocks and dry skin with paper towels. Heat an ovenproof frying pan over high heat. Add olive oil, then spatchcock skin-side down, shaking pan to ensure skin doesn’t stick. Season and fry until skin is golden (3-4 minutes), then place in oven and roast until cooked through (8-10 minutes). Remove from oven, turn spatchcock over and season. Serve with freekeh, cress and harissa yoghurt.


Note Start this recipe three days ahead to pickle the tomatoes. Upland cress is available from select greengrocers but may need to be ordered. Freekeh and piquillo peppers are available from select delicatessens and supermarkets.