• STEP 1

    Flip the chicken over so it’s breast-side down and the backbone is facing you. Using kitchen scissors, cut down both sides of the backbone, remove it and set aside to use in the gravy recipe (right). Turn the chicken over so it’s breast-side up, and push down firmly on the breastbone to flatten the bird. If you have time, season the chicken all over with salt, then cover and chill for 24 hrs. Remove from the fridge 2 hrs before cooking. Alternatively, you can skip this step and move on to step two.

  • STEP 2

    Heat the oven to 210C/190C fan/gas 6½. Tip the carrots and parsnips into a shallow roasting tin. Squeeze some of the orange juice over the veg, then toss with half of the butter, plenty of black pepper and a little salt. Sit the chicken on top of the veg, then squeeze over the rest of the orange. Tear up the squeezed orange half and nestle it in the veg. Spread the rest of the butter all over the chicken and roast for 30 mins until the chicken is starting to brown, then lift the chicken onto a board, toss the sprouts into the veg, drizzle over the honey and sit the chicken back on top. Roast for 15-20 mins until the chicken skin is crisp and the meat is cooked through. Lift the chicken to a board and leave to rest for 10-15 mins. Stir the veg and roast for another 10 mins until lightly caramelised and tender.

  • STEP 3

    To serve, carve the chicken into 12 pieces (see tip, below). Reserve the carving and resting juices to pour into the gravy. Arrange the chicken pieces and veg on a platter, or plate up and serve.

Recipe tips

  • Bringing the chicken to room temperature before roasting means it will need less time in the oven.
  • Seasoning the chicken a day before helps it stay succulent and juicy.
  • Spatchcocking the chicken, as you do in step one, helps it cook quickly.
  • Cooking the veg under the chicken adds flavour and saves on washing-up

Portioning a cooked chicken is the same as jointing a raw one. Remove both leg quarters, cut the drumsticks off, then cut the thighs in two. Cut off each wing, leaving some of the breast meat attached. Remove the breasts and cut each into two, giving you 12 portions (or one piece each of white and brown meat per person). Use the carcass to make soup or stock.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, December 2022

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