I love the word: spatchcock. It sounds a little dirty and very intriguing. But it isn’t either– it’s just easy and smart.
This is the way to have a whole, golden, crisp-skinned roast chicken on a weeknight; with about 10 minutes of work and another 35 minutes in the oven (while you are off having a glass of wine, giving someone little and giggly a bath or hopefully not folding laundry) chicken nirvana is yours. It’s just so easy, and so delectable and satisfying.
If you want to see a video demo of how to spatchcock and cook chicken, head over to Craftsy.com, to my Cooking Essentials: All About Chicken class. Use this link for a half price discount for my readers. Or, just go by the recipe below– I like to think it is easy to follow. It all depends on your learning style, I guess. Either way: Go. Spatchcock. It will forever change your relationship with chicken.
Skillet-Roasted Spatchcocked Rosemary Chicken
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 4-pound chicken
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup lemon juice (about 1 1/2 lemons)
1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
5 sprigs rosemary
1. Preheat the oven to 425°. Rub the olive oil over the inside surface of the skillet. Cast iron is ideal, but any oven proof skillet will work.
2. To butterfly or spatchcock the chicken you need to remove the backbone. Cut along each side of the backbone; discard the bone (or set it aside for stock) and open the chicken up like a book. While it is lying skin-side facing down on your work surface, score the cartilage that runs down the center (do not cut through to the meat) so the chicken lies perfectly flat. (Sometimes you need only cut through the little bit of cartilage at the end for it to lie flat.) Flip the bird over and season the skin with about half the salt and pepper.
3. Heat the oil in the skillet over medium high. When it is hot but not yet smoking, place the bird skin side down in the skillet. Season with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Let it brown without moving it until it no longer sticks to the pan surface and is a lovely golden color, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
4. Add the lemon juice, chicken broth and chopped rosemary; cook, scraping the bits from the pan surface until the liquid is reduced by half and somewhat milky looking, about 1-2 minutes. Return the chicken to the skillet with the skin side facing up and place the rosemary sprigs on and around the chicken. Place the skillet in the oven and roast until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh (not touching the bone) registers 170F, about 30 minutes.
Makes 4 servings
Nutrition for each serving: 374 calories, 6 g saturated fat, 38 g protein
I am supplying you with the following information, but it is in no way an endorsement. It is just good information to have. You can do the entire recipe above, starting with a 4-pound chicken, but removing the skin, and the nutrition will change to the following:
210 calories, 2 g saturated fat, 28 g protein
Awesome recipe! Thanks. Will make this tonight.
Using tips from this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ppa1bxB89vg, I salted the chicken first and let the salt dehydrate the skin and broiled the chicken at the very end to crisp up the skin a bit more. Also found this video helpful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMUXF4eG4j0
I also added 1/2 cup white wine, and sliced crimini mushsrooms (which I sauteed a bit before, in a bit of oil, with white wine with a little chicken boullion). Also added other poultry spices (thyme, sage, and parsley) to the chicken before it roasted.
Thanks so much for the great recipe!!
Marge Perry says
It sounds like you made a whole new recipe!
I think you needed to broil the skin in order to crisp it at the end because you added that 1/2 cup of wine– that causes the skin to steam, which doesn’t allow it to crisp as much. Without the liquid, the skin should be very crisp using the method in the recipe.
The video you sent from my colleague John is interesting, because he spatchcocks in a slightly unconventional way, so that the legs turn in rather than out. As long as the bird flattens to a nice even thickness so it cooks evenly, however, it doesn’t matter which way the legs go 🙂
Have you ever done this on a grill with/without cast iron pan?
Marge Perry says
Absolutely, and it works beautifully. You won’t get the pan sauce, of course, but it will still be moist and flavorful. Enjoy!
I was looking for a simple splachchock chicken recipe and this one seems to fit the bill! I changed the method slightly though and it’s working out well!
An hour before cooking I washed and dried the chicken then rubbed with lemon juice and salt and peppered both sides and let it sit out to dry. I then preheated the oven to 425F with the cast iron skillet inside.
After the hour was up I rubbed olive oil on the dried chicken and removed the skillet from the oven. I added a small amount of oil to the pan, then placed the chicken skin side down and let it go for about 20 minutes.
I subbed thyme for the rosemary (I’m pregnant right now and for some reason rosemary is not my friend right now) I prepared the sauce ingredients the same as listed minus the oil because the skin had rendered enough fat.
I removed the chicken and let stand while I prepared the sauce in the pan. The chicken was nicely browned at this point. Once the sauce was reduced by half I placed the chicken skin side up back in the pan and am letting it go for another 20 minutes or until done. It smells amazing and I can’t wait to try this!! Thank you!! Christine from CT