Sunday, November 22, 2009

Roast Chicken - spatchcocked, of course

I have been reveling in my usual Food Network weekend morning watching ritual, and with it being a half second away from Thanksgiving, Thanksgivingy recipes are flying out of my idiot box nonstop.
One or two of these recipes introduced me to spatchcocking. Not only is "spatchcock" the most fun, non filthy word you'll see all day, it's an awesome technique for quickly cooking whole birds. My oven isn't the hugest and I know with a whole giant gobbler in there, there won't be room for a single other dish. I'm also concerned that by the time I get around to making my Thanksgiving dinner, they won't even have any turkeys in the stores and I'll have to go with chicken anyway.
A quick walk down to Whole Foods yielded a $15, four pound organic bird that was mine for the taking. I spatchcocked my little heart out and then got down to business (please note that the extra step of removing the breast bone is not always included in spatchcocking instructions, and I didn't do it myself. I just broke the bone with a nice satisfying crunch and moved on.).

Roasted Spatchcocked Chicken & Gravy
6 cloves garlic - smashed
1 yellow onion
fresh rosemary - we used 2 really long sticks ("skewers"), so maybe 4 regular sized sticks
1 3-4 lb whole chicken
6 -8 tablespoons of unsalted butter
olive oil
Kosher salt & fresh cracked pepper
chicken broth

I served this with sweet potato fries from Trader Joe's (chips and gravy are the best thing in the world), and roasted asparagus (olive oil, salt and pepper and parmesan cheese). I poured the gravy on the bird meat and the fries and danced around triumphantly, took a photo for facebook to make all my friends jealous and then hooked in. Thanksgiving will be a piece of piss.

Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Roughly chop the onion and put it in the bottom of a roasting pan, not one of those jobbies with the v shaped rack for a full bird, just a regular roasting pan with a flat rack.
Spatchcock your bird and lay it out flat. Lift the skin away from the meat by sliding your hand in and getting all nice and gooey. Place pats of butter, a clove of garlic, and a sprig of rosemary all over the bird; maybe one or two sets on each breast, one per leg and one per thigh.

Drizzle with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper, both sides.

Put the bird on the rack and pop it in the oven. Roast for 45-60 minutes. At about the 20 minute mark you can pop in and baste the bird with the buttery yummy goodness at the bottom of the pan to help crisp up the skin. Now is the perfect time to put the the sweet potato fries in as well.

Once the thigh registers close to 180 degrees and the breast near 170, your bird is done and ready to come out and rest. At this point flip the fries, and pop the asparagus in until done.

Break off the legs/thighs and wings, and cut off the breast meat. Slice that and separate the leg from the thigh to be served.

The gravy is tricky. Try to spoon off as much of the clear buttery juice as you can, leaving the yummy rich chickeny part behind. I poured about half a cup of pan juices/butter sauce with as many chunky chickeny scraping bits as I could find into a pan and fired up the heat to med-hi. I stirred in 2 and 1/2 tbsp of flour or so and let it cook for a few minutes to try to cook off the floury taste. I slowly added chicken broth up to about a cup and a half or two cups, plus 2 shots or so of bourbon, stirring constantly to try to prevent lumps. Once the gravy can coat the back of a spoon, Bob's your uncle and you're ready to go.

1 comment:

Quinn said...

hee hee, you said "spatchcocked"