Heavenly roast chicken with a mustard and onion glaze, rich slow roasted tomatoes and with creamy burrata mozzarella
6 plum tomatoes, halved lengthways
2 sprigs thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
200g/7oz ciabatta, torn into small pieces
1 large banana shallot, finely chopped
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 tbsp capers, drained and rinsed
175g/6oz wood-roasted piquillo peppers, chopped (available from some supermarkets and delicatessens)
2 x 200g/7oz burrata mozzarella cheese, torn into pieces
2 handfuls basil, leaves only
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
For the spatchcock chicken, place the chicken, breast-side down, onto a chopping board. Using strong kitchen scissors cut through the flesh and bone along both sides of the backbone from the tail end to the head end and completely remove the backbone. Place the chicken, breast-side down, onto a roasting tray and press it down as flat as possible. Once the chicken is flattened out, place the red onions at the bottom of the roasting tray. Turn the chicken breast-side up in the roasting tray.
Spread the Dijon mustard over the chicken and dot with the butter all over.
Heat a medium frying pan and once hot add the oil. Add the onion and cook for a couple of minutes, then add the sage, lemon zest and juice and cook for a further minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the dried onion flakes.
Pour the onion mix over the chicken and roast the chicken for 40-45 minutes, or until crisp, golden-brown and cooked through. (The chicken is cooked through when the juices run clear when a skewer is inserted into the thickest part of the chicken.) Remove the spatchcock chicken from the oven and rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
For the slow-roasted tomatoes, preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 1.
Place the tomatoes, cut-side up, onto a roasting tray.
Sprinkle with the thyme, salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste, and olive oil.
Place in the oven and cook for 1-2 hours until the moisture has mainly evaporated and the tomatoes have dried out.
Remove the tomatoes from the oven and leave to cool.
Increase the oven temperature to 220C/450F/Gas 8.
Place the ciabatta pieces onto a baking sheet and drizzle over two tablespoons of the olive oil. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Cook in the oven for 5-7 minutes, or until crisp and golden-brown.
Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the shallot and fry for 2-3 minutes, or until softened.
Blend two-thirds of the roasted tomatoes with the red wine vinegar and the extra virgin olive oil in a food processor to a fine purée.
In a bowl, add half of the purée mixture to the crisp ciabatta croutons and set aside to soak for five minutes.
Into the other half of the purée, stir in the remaining roasted tomatoes, fried shallots, capers, piquillo peppers, cheese and basil leaves. Set aside.
To serve, carve the chicken into pieces and divide among 4-6 plates. Place the salad on the side.
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James is joined by chefs Paul Rankin and Nigel Haworth, plus actor Bradley Walsh.
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