This is gonna sound like I’m using an unladylike term, but I want you to cook a spatchcock chicken. Yep. Spatchcock chicken.
This is an old-timey word for butterflying a chicken (or turkey). The definition from www.foodrepublic.com says, “This wacky term comes from Ireland, and may be an abbreviation of ‘Dispatch the cock,’ a phrase which the Irish apparently threw around in the 18th century when they needed to whip up a quick and simple chicken dinner. Spatchcock is also said to be a variation of the word spitchcock, which means to split an eel lengthwise and fry it.”
It is a magical way to get the juiciest, crispiest skin because of the way the bird is evenly cooked since it is butterflied.
And it is oh-so-simple. Here is the recipe. In fact, I’m using this recipe on Thursday when I teach a cooking class at eggshells kitchen co. in the Heights. It’s a sold-out class but you’ll be there in spirit if you whip this up on Thursday night.
Spatchcock Roasted Chicken
- 1 whole chicken, around 3 ½ pounds, wingtips removed
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Flavorful seasoning to coat
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup butter unsalted, softened (1 stick)
- 1/4 cup poultry herb blend chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil.
- Place chicken, breast side down, on a work surface. Here is the key to the spatchcock bird: Starting at the tail end, cut along both sides of backbone with kitchen shears. Remove backbone. Grabbing hold of both sides of the chicken, open it like a book. Turn breast side up. Push down on each side of breast with your hands until you hear it crack. Flatten chicken and transfer to one short end of the prepared baking sheet. (Better yet: Ask the butcher to do it.)
- Cover the bird in a flavorful seasoning. Lift the skin and smear the compounded butter underneath. (Take the softened butter and add those seasonings in a food processor). Splash some olive oil over the bird.
- I then cover the bird in a delicious rub that will really be flavored when it roasts.
- Roast until skin is crisp and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast reads 165 degrees F, about 45 minutes. If you want it even crispier, let it cook another 5 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting each chicken into 8 pieces.