PERFECT CRISPY SKINNED ROAST CHICKEN (SPATCHCOCK CHICKEN)
Roast chicken was one of the first real meal that I had learned how to make as I was discovering how much I loved cooking for not just myself but the people around me. Its the ultimate comfort food but also deceitfully simple to do well. This is recipe is the accumulation of many many chicken dinners and the consultation of what feels like thousands of articles, blog posts and youtube videos.
I've found that spatchcocking the chicken is really what makes a difference in getting the most out of that crispy skin as well as making the whole process go a much faster. The first time I did this, it was insanely intimidating. I couldn't quite figure out where exactly my kitchen sheers were supposed to go and every which way felt a little intrusive for the little bird. Several youtube videos later, I finally figured out all it really took was a little elbow wax and confidence on my part to get the job done. (Several of these videos use a knife, but I tend to be a little on the clumsier side of things, so my choice of weapon was a pair of kitchen sheers/scissors to do the job). It might seem like a bit of a hassle but I PROMISE, crispy skin goals is waiting for you on the other end of this endeavor.
Give it a try and let me know what you think!
WHAT YOU'LL NEED
- 1 Approx. 5 lb chicken
- 1-2 lemons
- 1 medium sized onion
- 1 head of garlic
- Herbs (I like a combination of sage, rosemary and thyme)
- Olive Oil
LET'S GET STARTED
Take your chicken out of the fridge about 30 minutes before so that it can reach room temperature. While you're at it, pat down it down as best you can and spatchcock the chicken so that it lays flat on your chopping board (just like in the links above). While its resting skin side up, I like to give a good sprinkle of salt over the skin so that it draws out even more moisture because Dry skin=crispy skin.
While I'm waiting I get to work on all the rest of the chopping that needs to get done so that all I need to do later on is to throw everything together on a thick based pan or roasting tray. Finely chop a handful of the herbs of your choice, slice the onions, halve your garlic and cut your lemons into eighths. Put your salt, pepper, herbs and garlic in a bowl with olive oil to the side and lay out the lemons and onion out on the tray you'll be using.(I'm currently loving my Staub Cast Iron Braiser , but I've done this on a good old roasting tray as well and it's come out perfectly) Drizzle some olive oil on the onions and lemons and sprinkle any left over herbs/salt/pepper over them too.
When you're ready to cook, pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F. Then grab yourselves some more paper towels and dab your chicken dry again to pick up any excess water thats been drawn out by the salt. Next, I like to use the garlic clove to give my chicken a good rub down with the herb mixture before drizzling and working the rest through both sides of the bird. Toss the garlic into tray with the bed of onion and lemons and place your chicken skin-side up on top.
All you have to do next is stick the whole thing in the oven then kick your feet up with a glass of wine, binge some Netflix, or do some internet deep diving for the next hour to hour and a half. To check whether or not its done, poke a hole with a knife into the thickest part of the bird (ex. the leg) and see if the juices run clear. Right before you pull the chicken out, (about 5-10 minutes) I like to tuck in a few slices of mushroom to toss in the beautiful sauce that has accumulated beneath the chicken.
When the bird is ready, let it rest for a few minutes, then carve, share, and eat!
**No roast dinner is every complete without some potatoes so here's my favorite recipe by non-other than Jamie Oliver himself.