Thursday, October 24, 2013

Spatchcocked chicken (WHAT?!)

Spatchcocked chicken is a very funny word, and is also another word for butterflied chicken, which is just another word for that thing where you take out the backbone of a chicken so that you can lay the bird flat and cook it in one layer. It allows the bird to cook more evenly, and takes less time to prepare! Chicken breast has a tendency to be too dry, as it dries out while the darker meat of the legs take more time to cook. Spatchcocking is a great remedy for this. Last week I roasted a chicken this way, and it cooked very evenly and was tender and moist throughout. Super totes awesome. 

Spatchcocked chicken served with spaghetti squash (drizzled chicken pan juices drizzled over), sauteed baby bok choy, and roasted sweet potatoes lightly dusted with cardamom and cinnamon.
I used kitchen shears to cut the backbone out of the bird. I watched this video from the NY Times, which explained everything perfectly. Watch this video and I promise you'll be fine! To accompany this dinner there was sauteed baby bok choy, spaghetti squash (with chicken juices drizzled over), and roasted sweet potatoes. It almost felt like Thanksgiving... 

Almost go-time. 
One 3.5 lb whole chicken
One lemon 
freshly cracked black pepper
olive oil
white wine

 Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Address chicken. Using kitchen shears/scissors/knife (watch this video), cut out the backbone of the chicken. Don't worry- you can do this. Take the backbone and set aside to roast. Open up the chicken, lying it flat. The NY Time's video recommends also taking out the breast bone, but I didn't, as the chicken lay flat already. Up to you!

Pat chicken dry inside and out with a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper. In a separate small bowl combine 2 tbl (a glug or two) of olive oil, and salt/pepper. Gently loosen the skin of the bird, and pour the oil mixture under the skin of the breast area. This part is messy so use your fingers and try to work it in. Add three to four thin lemon slices underneath the skin as well.

 Preheat a large skillet to medium/high, and place approximately one-two tablespoons of oil in the pan. Place the chicken into the hot pan, skin side down. Be cafeful, as the oil will be hot and will make a lot of noise! We want to sear the skin, which will give it a delicious crispy texture, and help to seal in all the juices while the chicken bakes.

Check after three-five minutes, and carefully place the chicken skin side up into a baking dish. Pour about a half cup of white wine over the chicken. Add the backbone and any sliced (sweet) potatoes to the baking dish if there is room.

After twenty minutes pour some more wine over the chicken and say hi. After fifty minutes total the chicken will be ready! Let the chicken rest for ten minutes, and then squeeze lemon over it before serving. Et voila!



  1. Nice blog! I've never tried searing the chicken in a pan first, but that sounds like a good idea. For the olive oil and herb concoction I sometimes will use a spoon to get it under the skin. It is easier to get more of it in harder to reach places. Also, more of the spices go on the bird and less on my hands.

    1. Thanks, James!! I let Josh use his hands to get the oil and herbs under the skin, but I will use a spoon next time- thanks for the tip! Also- he made sweet potatoes that you made him (a little varied) but they were wonderful!