Once in a while, I crave a garlicky, lemony roasted chicken. With roasted potatoes, homemade rolls, and some kind of green vegetable. Like broccoli or asparagus. Or some sautéed leafy greens. But midweek, I don't have time to invest into a roasted chicken, or homemade rolls. And with 2 little kids and a dog running around, it's a major health hazard to pull out a whole raw chicken, not knowing what adventure will be waiting around the corner for me.
... But I wanted chicken tonight. A good one. I had bought some cute little new potatoes and broccoli rabe, and they screamed out to me for a juicy, whole bird. So I spatchcocked it. Now, before you gasp, let me inform you that this is a specific term used for chicken or other small birds, when using a similar technique to butteryflying. It makes cooking the whole bird in a shorter amount of time possible. And you still get a crispy skin and juicy, flavorful interior.
But, I have a confession. I hate working with poultry. The whole cross-contamination thing really makes me nervous, and I get a little obsessive with the clorox wipes on EVERY surface of my kitchen following any touching of it. And if you're like me, cutting through chicken ribs with your kitchen shears may take some getting used to. So brace yourself, and get to it! It's a pretty fabulous result, so it'll be worth it.

weeknight whole chicken dinner
serves 4~6
1 whole chicken
1 head of garlic, peeled, cloves left whole
1 lemon, sliced
salt and pepper to season
  1. Pat the chicken dry. Place the whole chicken on a cutting board with the breast side down. Starting at the opening of the cavity, take some sharp kitchen shears and cut through along the right side of the spine. Do the same with the left. Flip the chicken over and press firmly down on the center of the bird to flatten. Often, you'll feel the breast bone break. (That's a good thing) Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a large lidded skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Pour about 1 tablespoon canola oil (or other high-smoke point, neutral flavored oil) into the bottom of the pan. Place chicken in the pan skin-side down. Once you get a good sear, add the garlic cloves and lemon slices and place the lid on. Turn the heat down to medium, and let cook through. If the skin is burning before the meat is cooked through, add a little water or chicken stock to create some steam. Using an instant-read thermometer, check the temperature of the meat in the thickest part of the thigh (I always check the thigh and the breast), avoiding the bone. It should reach 165°F.
  3. Serve with browned side up.
28 oz (that was the size of the bag I got, but anywhere between 24~32 oz would work) variety of new potatoes, scrubbed and trimmed
6 shallots, peeled, tops and bottoms trimmed, and cut in half (pole-to-pole)
1 sprig rosemary
1 T butter
salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a heavy bottom, large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Place shallots and potatoes, rosemary, and salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Let cook, tossing occasionally, until the potato skins start to wrinkle and brown and the shallots caramelize. 
  2. Add 2~3 tablespoons of water and place the lid on top until potatoes are cooked through. Once cooked through, remove lid and cook until water is all evaporated. Add butter and swirl to coat. Remove rosemary stem. Serve immediately.
broccoli rabe:
1 bunch broccoli rabe, broccolini, baby broccoli (whatever you want to call it)
olive oil
salt to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Trim bottom 1/2~1 inch of stems. In a large bowl, toss the broccoli rabe, salt, and olive oil.
  2. On a baking sheet, place an single layer of the broccoli rabe. Roast in the oven until the tips get crispy and the stems are tender crisp, about 15 minutes.

1 comment:

Celeste said...

Having eaten a chicken prepared by you before, my mouth is watering looking at those photos! And never before have I seen a gorgeous photo of potatoes--but now I have. I want to frame it.