BBQ spiced chicken, cauliflower and fennel cream
Roast chicken never gets old. Like never ever ever gets old. There are countless variations, flavourings and culinary persuasions to suit almost any cooking requirement. And that’s what I love the most, it can be dressed up and dressed down, there are infinite possibilities and persuasions to this humble concept. Here I’ve incorporated a cauliflower and fennel cream base for a spiced yoghurt marinated chicken; its a hunker down the weather is turning kind of roast chicken. One I’d imagine would go well with a quiet Sunday, a lovely pinot and a Netflix marathon.
Cauliflower and fennel cream
1kg cauliflower, broken into florets
2 baby fennel bulbs, thinly sliced
2 small onions, thinly sliced
6 garlic cloves
1 organic chicken, cut into 4 pieces (ask your butcher to do this for you)
Butter for under the skin
Salt to season
150ml greek style yoghurt
½ onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
15g (3cm piece) ginger, finely chopped
½ tsp each ras el hanout, black lime powder, sumac, onion powder, cayenne pepper
60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
For cauliflower and fennel cream, combine all ingredients in a large saucepan, bring to a simmer and cook until cauliflower and fennel are tender (12-15 minutes). Using a hand-held blender or food processor, blend mixture until smooth and season to taste. Set aside.
For spiced yoghurt marinade, process ingredients (except oil) in a food processor until a paste forms, then stir in oil. Lift skin of chickens, being careful not to tear and push pieces of butter between skin and flesh. Place chicken in a non-reactive container, rub all over with marinade and refrigerate overnight for flavours to develop.
Preheat oven to 200C. Heat a large cast-iron ovenproof frying pan over high heat, add 2 tbsp oil, then season chicken to taste and cook skin-side down until golden (3-4 minutes). Turn, then transfer to oven and roast until cooked through.
To serve, smear cauliflower and fennel cream at base of plate. Place over chicken pieces. Season with lemon juice. Serve.