Flattening the chicken cuts down on the cooking time, and the turmeric and ginger add colour and an sweet earthiness. Serve up with barley salad and flavoured hummus. 






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If you have leftover chicken, use it up in this super-speedy bread and chicken salad


  • 1.5 kg free range chicken
  • 2 red onions, sliced in quarters, roots trimmed but intact


  • 1 thumb-sized piece ginger, finely grated
  • 1 thumb-sized piece fresh turmeric, finely grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1½ tsp each of cumin, coriander, cayenne, smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp + 1 tsp (45 ml) neutral-flavoured oil

Pearl barley salad

  • 250 g pearl barley
  • 2 tbsp + 1 tsp (45 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 oranges, segmented, any juice reserved
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 200 g feta cheese, crumbled into chunks
  • Large handful of fresh mint, roughly chopped
  • Large handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped


  • 400 g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tsp tahini paste
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • A good pinch of sea salt

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Marinating time: 1 hour or overnight. 

  1. Place all the ingredients for the marinade in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine - if it’s too thick loosen with a little extra oil, it should easily coat the chicken.
  2. To prepare the chicken, place the bird breast-down and, using a knife or a sharp scissors, cut along either side of the backbone to remove it. Open the bird out and flip it over so it is breast side up and, using your fist, push down hard on the breast to break the bone. Toss the spatchcocked bird and red onions in the marinade and leave for to marinade, covered, in the refrigerator for 1 hour or overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200˚C.
  4. Scatter the onions over the base of a large roasting tray. Place the chicken on top and cook in the oven for 45 minutes or until cooked all the way through.
  5. Meanwhile, For the pearl barley salad, place the pearl barley in a pan and cover with water. Place over a medium-high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 50 minutes, or until the grains are tender and all the cooking liquid has been absorbed. Set aside to cool.
  6. Prepare the hummus by placing all the ingredients in a food processor and blitzing until completely smooth. If the hummus is too thick loosen to a smoother consistency with 1-2 tbsp of water.
  7. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and any leftover orange juice from the segments. Season to taste. Add the pearl barley and remaining salad ingredients and toss to coat. Cover and set aside.
  8. Once the chicken is cooked through, slice into portions and serve with a dollop of hummus and a generous side of pearl barley salad.