Sticky citrus chicken with griddled avocado & beet salad

Sticky citrus chicken with griddled avocado & beet salad

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(3 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 1 hr plus at least 2 hrs marinating


Serves 4

Soft, creamy avocado and zesty chicken make the perfect pairing for a family supper - a great recipe for using up avocados that refuse to ripen!

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal1020
  • fat51g
  • saturates10g
  • carbs77g
  • sugars40g
  • fibre16g
  • protein55g
  • salt0.5g
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  • 1 chicken (about 1.3kg)



    While it's the traditional Christmas bird, turkey is good to eat all year round, though…

  • 2 red onions, each cut into 8 wedges
  • 6 beetroots (I used a mixture of golden and purple beetroots, peeled and each cut into 8 wedges - wear gloves to avoid pink hands!)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or rapeseed oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 250g spelt



    Spelt is an ancient member of the wheat family and an evolutionary hybrid of emmer wheat…

  • 2 large, firm avocados (Fuerte or Pinkerton are good here)



    Although it's technically a fruit, the mild-flavoured avocado is used as a vegetable. Native…

  • 100g bag watercress



    With deep green leaves, and crisp, paler stems, watercress is related to mustard and is one of…

  • natural yogurt, to serve (optional)

For the marinade

  • 1 small preserved lemon



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika, plus a pinch
  • zest and juice 2 large lemons



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • zest and juice 2 large oranges



    One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

  • 6 tbsp clear honey
  • 3 tbsp olive oil or rapeseed oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…


  1. To spatchcock the chicken, flip it over so the backbone is facing you. Using a sturdy pair of kitchen scissors, cut down either side of the backbone, then discard. Turn the chicken over and push down firmly on the breastbone to flatten it out, then make a few slashes in each leg joint. (Or you can ask your butcher to spatchcock the chicken for you.) Put the chicken in a large sealable plastic bag, or a dish.

  2. Next, make the marinade. Rinse the preserved lemon under running water to remove some of the brine, then separate the middle from the peel (the middle part – the flesh and pips – is very sour) and discard the middle. Finely chop the soft peel until it resembles a paste. Tip into a bowl and add the remaining marinade ingredients and a pinch of salt. Whisk until combined, then pour roughly half the marinade over the chicken and rub it into all the nooks. For the best flavour, leave the chicken to marinate overnight, covered, in the fridge (store the remaining marinade in the fridge too), but if you’re short on time, 2 hrs marinating will do.

  3. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Tip the onions and beetroot into a large roasting tin (use your best tin and you can serve the dish straight from it), drizzle with oil and season well. Toss the vegetables to coat and spread them out towards the edges of the tin. Place the chicken on top, skin-side up, and pour over any juices from the bag or dish. Season the chicken well and roast for 45 mins.

  4. Meanwhile, bring a pan of water to the boil and add the spelt. Cook for 20 mins or until tender, then drain and set aside. Halve each avocado, remove the stones and peel. Chop each piece in half again, if you like. Char the avocado pieces on a hot griddle pan for a few mins – this will give it a smoky flavour.

  5. Remove the remaining marinade from the fridge and very gently toss the avocado pieces in it, then set them aside. Pour the remaining marinade into a small pan and bring to a rapid boil, then continue cooking for 2-3 mins until you have a sticky glaze.

  6. Remove the roasting tin from the oven, lift the chicken onto a plate or board and stir the spelt into the vegetables. Place the chicken back on top, dot the avocado pieces around the tin and brush the thickened glaze over the chicken. Return to the oven for a further 5-10 mins. To check the chicken is cooked, pierce the thickest part with a skewer. The juices should run clear, not pink. If you need to, return the chicken to the oven for a further 5-10 mins, then check again.

  7. Lift the chicken onto a plate, cover loosely with foil and return the roasting tin with the vegetables to the oven for a further 10 mins until the avocado starts to soften. To serve, nestle the chicken back into the tin of veg, scatter over a few small watercress leaves and serve the rest on the side with the yogurt.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Be the first to comment...We'd love to hear how you got on with this recipe. Did you like it? Would you recommend others give it a try?
18th Apr, 2016
Is the nutritional information correct for this? It was delicious but I cannot quite believe it is over 1000 calories per serving!
14th Apr, 2016
Is the kcal per portion figure right for this recipe?
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