Saturday, May 25, 2013

Spatchcocked chicken

One of my Facebook friends requested a recipe for this roasted chicken.

Which became part of this dinner, along with the mushroom rice pilaf.  Sorry, didn't snap a pic of the green salad with roasted garlic-mustard vinaigrette.  You'll have to take my word for it.

A 3 1/2 - 4-lb fryer chicken was seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic powder (I use Paula Deen's 'house seasoning' recipe -- 4 parts salt, 1 part pepper, 1 part garlic powder), dried rosemary, thyme, and marjoram.  Drizzled a bit of olive oil over all, then a squirt or two of red wine vinegar, sprinkled a bit of paprika on top, popped it onto a heavy-duty foil-lined baking sheet, and into a 400°F oven (convection) for about 50 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer in the breast read 145°F.

That said, there was one thing that I did differently for these two birds. (Yes, I roasted two at once, one for dinner, and one for leftovers -- chicken sammiches, a bit of chicken salad...)  Instead of using cut-up chicken, or just a whole chicken, I spatchcocked these birds before roasting.  Yeah, spatchcocked.  I cut the backbone out of the chickens with kitchen shears, then splayed the birds open, pressing down a bit on the breasts to break through the breastbone.  It's the ideal way to prep a chicken for outdoor grilling, and for oven-roasting, it allows for more uniform and quicker cooking, too.  It also exposes all the skin to the heat of the oven, which gives a great crisp exterior as a result.  You certainly don't have to do this to roast chicken, but I recommend it.  Next time, I'll be sure to have someone photograph the process.  It's a bit messy handling the camera with slick chicken hands. 

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