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Spatchcock one pot lemon, garlic & thyme chicken with couscous

This is fantastic if you enjoy an easy tasty one pot supper, I love to use a great quality free range chicken marinated with flavours of lemon, thyme and garlic, roasted veg and couscous it’s a real family favourite. You can simply take the whole tray out of the oven, place in the middle of the table and let everyone dig in, and the bonus is….minimal washing up!


1 large free range chicken

Zest and juice from 1 unwaxed lemon

2 fat garlic cloves

2 tsp dried thyme

½ tsp cracked black pepper

½ tsp salt

2 tbsp olive oil

1 chicken stock cube

5 chestnut mushrooms

1 long red pepper

1 large red onion

1 yellow pepper

350g (2 cups) dried couscous

700ml (3 cups) chicken stock, cubes are fine to use.

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp cumin

2 spring onions chopped.

Here’s how…..

Prepare your chicken by turning it over breast side down. Then take some sturdy scissors or a strong serrated knife and cut out the backbone. Start at the parsons nose (bum) snipping away until you get to the neck end on both sides of the backbone.

The backbone will lift away. This takes a bit of strength so be careful.

Turn the chicken over then firmly press between the breasts until you hear a crack and the chicken is flattened. This allows lovely even cooking.

Mix together in a bowl olive oil, zest and juice from 1 lemon, 2 grated garlic cloves, thyme, pepper, salt and 1 crumbled stock cube.

Take a sharp knife and score deeply into the legs, wings and breast to allow the marinade to penetrate, then massage well into the chicken.

Place the chicken into a deep roasting tray, cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight is better.

Pre heat the oven to 180c

Take the chicken from the fridge and allow to come up to room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

Remove the cling film and cover in foil and cook for 1 hour at 180c

Meanwhile chop peppers, onions and mushrooms. Remove foil and scatter around the chicken, turn the temperature up to 200c and cook for a further 30 minutes uncovered to allow the chicken to brown.

When your roasted veg looks tender carefully lift out the chicken onto the reserved piece of foil, tip in the dry couscous over the tray juices and mix well. Add 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp thyme, 1 tsp turmeric and 3 cups (700ml) stock and mix well.

Now place the chicken back on top of the couscous and veg and place back in the oven uncovered for a further 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven, cover in reserved foil and allow the chicken to rest, couscous to soak up the juices and a chance for you to pour yourself a glass of wine!

I like to scatter a couple of chopped spring onions of fresh thyme over then place the whole tray in the middle of the table and let everyone dig in!

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This is one of our family favourites too, I do love a ‘one pot wonder!’ So glad you enjoyed it and thank you so much for taking the time to write such a lovely review 🥰


Jan 24, 2021

Cooked this tonight instead of our usual Sunday roast. Just - WOW!! The 3rd of the 'cooks makes bakes' recipes I've cooked in 3 successive weekends - 3 bulls-eyes! Love the flavour combinations and the twists on classics. We often do roast veg and couscous with a chicken - doing it all together in one pot with a touch of spice lifts it into another realm. Can't wait to get out of lockdown so I can impress some dinner guests with this. Thank you once again Helen.


Fraser Watson
Fraser Watson
Jun 11, 2020

Tasty tasty tasty, especially with a crunchy salad😋

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