Roast butterflied chickens on pumpkin polenta

Roast butterflied chickens on pumpkin polenta

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  • 6 to 8
  • Easy
  • 45 minutes
  • 1 1⁄4 hours
  • Waterford Chardonnay 2015


  • 2 x 1.5 kg medium free-range chickens
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 20 g Sage leaves, for serving
  • 4 - 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 - 3 T olive oil
  • For the pumpkin polenta:
  • 500 g pumpkin, peeled and diced
  • 6 cups home-made chicken broth or weak chicken stock
  • 240 g polenta
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cooking Instructions

Preheat the oven to 220°C. Cut out the backbones from the chickens and reserve for stock. Open out and flatten as much as possible. Season.

To make the pumpkin polenta, simmer the pumpkin in the stock, covered, for 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain, reserving the stock. Purée the pumpkin and set aside. Measure the stock and add water to make up 6 cups.

Bring the stock to the boil in a large saucepan. Stir in the polenta using a balloon whisk. Reduce the heat and simmer, whisking continually, for 10 minutes, or until thick and smooth. The polenta may splutter, so take care. Stir in the pumpkin purée. Season and turn onto an oiled shallow baking pan.

Place the butterflied chickens on top of the pumpkin polenta. Tuck in half the sage leaves and smashed garlic. Drizzle over the olive oil and bake for 40 minutes, or until the chickens are golden and moist. Allow to rest for 5–10 minutes. Fry the remaining sage leaves until crisp and scatter over the chicken.

Cook's note: Butterflied (also called spatchcocked) chickens always make a showstopper meal. Serve this hearty dish with salad greens on the side.

Discover more roast chicken recipes here.

Phillippa Cheifitz Recipe by: Phillippa Cheifitz
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Regular TASTE contributor Phillippa is a well-known South African author and food writer, and has won many awards, both for her magazine features and her cookbooks.

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