Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Roasted Herb & Garlic Spatchcock Chicken

Adapted from Cook's Illustrated Summer Grilling issue

Printable Recipe

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 35-40 minutes
Serves: 4

1 (3½-4 lb/1½ - 2kg) whole chicken
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4-5 large cloves of garlic, peeled
Zest & juice of 1 lemon
Large pinch of red chili pepper flakes
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1-2 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1. Heat oven to 500°F/260°C with rack in middle.

2. In a food processor or mini chopper, pulse the garlic, lemon zest & juice, herbs and red chili pepper flakes to form a paste. Set aside.

3. To “spatchcock” a chicken: lay the bird on the breast (back up) and cut out the spine from neck to tail, using kitchen shears. Lay the bird breast up and press down on the breast bone to break it and flatten the chicken more evenly. You might even want to cut out the top of the breast bone, leaving the skin and meat intact.

4. Rinse the chicken under cool water, pat dry and season the cavity side with salt and pepper. Turn the skin side up and gently slip your fingers under the skin from the neck and form a pocket as far as you can. Stuff with herb & garlic paste evenly under the skin. Repeat for the thigh starting from close to where the backbone used to be.

4. Drizzle a little olive oil in the bottom of a roasting pan. Add the sliced onions down the centre forming a bed for the chicken. Place the chicken, skin side up over top and use the remaining herb paste over the skin.
Note: I place the backbone in as well so that I can save all the roasted chicken bones in the freezer for future stock making.

5. Roast at 500°F/260°C for about 35 minutes & test with a meat thermometer. The chicken is ready when the thigh registers 170-180°F/76-80°C. Be forewarned… it will get very smoky, but well worth it.


Jeanette said...

I've never "splatchcocked" a chicken, but I know it shortens the cooking time. This garlic-herb rub sounds really good!

Ruth Daniels said...

It's easy and delicious. I do hope you try it soon. I'm sure you'll be a fan.