Flattening a chicken has a couple of advantages over roasting one whole; firstly, it allows a marinade to coat more of the surface area and secondly, it means that different parts can all cook at a similar rate, helping to avoid the breast drying out. Urfa Chilli Paste has a unique earthy, aromatic flavour, not dissimilar to tobacco, matched with a refined spicy heat and would work well enough as a marinade on its own, but the addition of orange juice and oregano brings a zesty contrast of flavours. You could use it on the celeriac on its own if you wanted, but roasting everything together in layers, allows all the flavours to distribute whilst cooking.
1 free range chicken, around 1.5-2kg, spatchcocked (ask your butcher to do this)
¼ white onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
2tbsp Urfa Chilli Paste
1 orange, zest and juice
1tsp dried oregano
3tbsp Early Harvest Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil (1tbsp for chicken)
½tsp salt (¼ plus a pinch for marinade)
To spatchcock (or flatten) the chicken, place the it on a cutting board, breast side down. Take a strong sharp pair of kitchen scissors and cut upwards, to either side of the backbone. Repeat on the other side to completely remove the backbone then push down on both sides with the palm of your hand so the chicken will lie flat.
A small food processor is ideal to make the marinade, but if you do not have one, chop the onion and garlic very finely until you almost have a paste, then mix with the rest of the ingredients. Combine the garlic, onion, Urfa Chilli Paste, orange zest, juice and dried oregano with 1tbsp Olive Oil and a little over 1/4tsp salt and blitz until well combined.
Spread the marinade with your hands (wear gloves if you prefer) all over both sides of the chicken and try to push some in under the skin or inside the legs, taking care not to break the skin. Place on a tray, skin side down, cover and place in the fridge to marinate.
Prep the celeriac by washing it thoroughly then using a knife and peeler to remove the thickest parts of the skin, but do not remove it all as it crisps up nicely when roasted. Cut into thin wedges, place in a bowl and season with remaining salt and Olive Oil.
When ready to cook, heat and oven to 220C/Fan 200C/Gas Mark 7. Spread the celeriac in a single layer on a sturdy roasting tray then place the chicken, skin side up, on top. The celeriac should be underneath and also spread around the chicken, so that it both absorbs the flavour of the marinade and gets a chance to crisp up. Place in the hot oven and roast for 35-45 minutes. The chicken and celeriac should both take on a decent amount of colour and the flesh should be firm all over when it is done.
Remove from the oven and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes. Take the chicken off the tray and use a strong kitchen knife to cut into joints. Serve with the celeriac and any juices that may have collected.