Spatchcock Chicken Caesar Salad Recipe

An umami filled salad to delight all this summer

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James Strawbridge
Cornish Chef, Author and Photographer
6 August 2022

You may have realised by now that our friend, talented chef James Strawbridge likes to elevate dishes, taking them to new realms and flavour dimensions, and you can expect exactly that from our first summer recipe! Caeser Salad is popular for good reason, and if it's a hit within your household, you're going to love our twist on a classic. Barbequeing the organic chicken in a spatchcock style gives the meat a delicious smokiness, whilst the lemon and pepper marinade works its magic from the outside in. The juicy poultry works beautifully when served with the grilled nectarine and pear, liquoricey fennel, crunchy little gem leaves, fresh anchovies and garlic-rubbed, toasted chiabatta. Enjoy.


For the chicken

1 whole free-range chicken

2 lemons, juice and zest

½ tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp cracked black pepper

1 tsp chicken salt [easy to make with leftover chicken skin dried until crispy in a hot oven and then blitzed with sea salt]

1 bulb of garlic, chopped in half and crushed

1 tbsp chopped lemon thyme

1 tbsp chopped dill

2 tbsp olive oil

100ml white wine

To serve:

1 bulb of fennel, sliced

1 pear, cut into segments

1 nectarine, cut into segments

Salt and pepper to season

1 Ciabatta, sliced into quarters and drizzled with olive oil

2 little gem lettuce, sliced

Handful of fresh anchovies

2 tbsp Caesar dressing


1. Remove the chicken spine with a strong set of kitchen scissors and use to make some stock later. Turn the bird over and using the heel of your hand press down firmly in the centre of the breasts to break the breastbone. This makes it much easier to flatten the bird out and increase the surface area. Using two skewers feed them diagonally through the leg, thigh and breast to hold the chicken flat and make it easy to move around the grill and flip when cooking.
2. Next marinade the chicken with the zest and juice of two lemons, black pepper, turmeric and chicken salt. Add chopped lemon thyme and dill, whole garlic cloves and lots of olive oil. Finally pour over your white wine. Ideally leave this covered for 12-24 hours in the fridge to marinade.
3. Once your BBQ embers turn white and are nice and hot, grill your chicken for 35 mins. Whilst grilling baste regularly with any remaining marinade to keep the bird moist whilst it grills.

Method continued

4. Chargrill your sliced fennel, pear and nectarines until soft and caramelised.
5. Allow your chicken to rest for at least 10-15 mins.
6. Next for this twist on a Caesar instead of croutons, toast your ciabatta drizzled with olive oil over the charcoal until crunchy and golden. Rub your grilled garlic from the chicken into the toasted bread before serving.
7. Plate up a platter with a bed of sliced little gem and fresh anchovies underneath and then the chargrilled fennel, fruit and finally the carved spatchcock chicken and toasted ciabatta. Finish with lots of Caesar dressing.