I have successfully learnt how to roast the perfect chicken. It took a few attempts, but I got it right. And you know what I realized at the end of it all? It just wasn’t worth all the hassle! 40 minutes with the breasts covered, 40 minutes with the legs covered, a splash of water in the tray underneath to crisp up the skin……ain’t nobody got time for that! Then, I found out how easy it is to make spatchcocked chicken, and that’s what I want to make all the time now.
Making spatchcocked chicken is quite possibly the easiest chicken dish possible. All you need is a good pair of poultry shears, and that’s about it. You just cut out the backbone (which you can use for stock), and break the breastbone by pressing down on it, just to help flatten the chicken. Spatchcocking the chicken ensures a more even cook, and saves you the hassle of basting/keeping an eye on the chicken.
I recently made spatchcocked turkey. I loved the flavors of its gravy, but because a turkey is far too large for two people and/or a regular weeknight dinner, I decided to use the same recipe for the chicken, and it was a smashing success!
Here’s how it was done:
1 Kg whole chicken, spatchcocked.
2 apples, cubed
2 lemons, sliced
2 large onions, cubed
1 head of garlic, cut in half.
Handful of aromatics like sage and rosemary.
1 tsp black peppercorn
Your choice of spice powder. I used an Asian 5 spice mix. You can use paprika, if you’d like.
Chicken or vegetable stock, 2 cups.
a knob of butter.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius.
Spatchcock the chicken. Leave skin on.
In an oven safe baking dish or deep tray, place the apples, lemons, onions and herbs. Drizzle on a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, peppercorns, garlic, and mix them all together.
Place the chicken on top of the vegetables, drizzle some olive oil on top, your spice rub of choice, and give it a gentle little massage to really rub those spices in.
Pour the stock into the pan, so that the vegetables are submerged in it, but it doesn’t touch the chicken.
Bake for 60 minutes on the middle rack, till the skin looks golden brown. Turn off bottom heat, and turn on the upper heat/broiler, for 10 minutes, to give the chicken a touch more color.
Cover with foil and let it rest for 10 minutes on your kitchen counter.
Remove chicken onto serving plate.
Scrape off the vegetables and juices into a pot, using a sieve to let only the liquid pass through. Add a knob of butter and let it simmer for a few minutes, till it reduces to 2/3rds.
1 kg baby potatoes, washed and dried
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon sea salt
A drizzle of olive oil.
Preheat Oven to 200 degrees celcius
In a baking tray lined with aluminum foil, spread out the potatoes.
Sprinkle on the olive oil, rosemary and the sea salt.
Give it a quick mix, and spread out evenly.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, tossing halfway in between.